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Magalong: Contact tracing ‘deteriorated’ in past weeks

/ 04:08 PM March 30, 2021
Magalong: Contact tracing ‘deteriorated’ in past weeks

FILE PHOTO: Baguio City Mayor and contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong. INQUIRER PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Contact tracing in the country has “deteriorated” over the past few weeks, with fewer contacts of COVID-positive patients being traced.

The country’s contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong admitted this to lawmakers on Tuesday during the online meeting of the House committee on health.

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According to Magalong, the national average contact tracing ratio over the past four weeks or from February 28 to March 29 went down from 1:7 to 1:3, or three contacts traced to every COVID-19 case.

“For the past 4 weeks, nakita niyo na talagang nag-deteriorate ng malaki…,” Magalong said.

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“Ibig sabihin… when you have contact tracing efficiency ratio of 1:3 to 1:5, ang nako-contact trace lang ho dyan are members of the household. So technically, wala pong contact tracing d’yan because ang gagawin lang po ng isang contact tracer, ia-announce lang ‘yung positive patient hanapin niyo yung members ng household and have them quarantine, ganun na lang po,” he added.

Magalong said many local government units (LGUs) are not using their data collection tool even if the national government has already shared it with LGUs.

“We have already uploaded this in their computers, laptops during their actual training, I wonder why kung bakit hindi pa rin nila ginagamit? Probably because of encoding issues,” Magalong said.

Further, Magalong said that representatives of LGUs in training on contact tracing “failed to cascade the training to their municipalities.”

“Surprisingly, ito pong mga recepient na LGUs failed to cascade the training to their municipalities. Nakita po namin yan during our visit,” Magalong said.

The country’s new COVID-19 cases on March 29 breached the 10,000-mark for the first time ever, bringing the number of active infections to 115,495 and nationwide tally to over 700,000.

KGA

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TAGS: Benjamin Magalong, contact tracing, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Health, pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, Virus
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