Magalong: Contact tracing remains weakest link in PH COVID-19 response
MANILA, Philippines — Amid the current surge of COVID-19 cases, contact tracing efforts remain the “weakest link” in the government’s response against the pandemic, Baguio City mayor and contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong admitted Tuesday.
Magalong said that the country’s contact tracing ratio average is only at 1:4, which is far from the target 1:15 ratio.
“Overall, ‘yung contact tracing natin nandoon sa 1:4 lang. So malayong malayo na sa 1:15 na standard na contact tracing efficiency ratio [Overall, our contact tracing is 1:4 only. So it’s far from the standard 1:15 in contact tracing efficiency ratio],” he said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
“To be honest with you, I would say it’s still the weakest link among the pillars,” he added.
He said the government is focusing on contact tracing efforts of local government units since it’s their “primary responsibility.”
Magalong said the government has decreased the target contact tracing ratio to 1:15 to be “more realistic” since the previous ideal 1:37 ratio was found to be difficult to achieve.
He said the 1:15 ratio will still make a great impact on the efforts against COVID-19.
“Binaba na natin sa 1:15 to be more realistic amid nitong surges ng kaso natin. We’re just trying to be realistic about it dahil our previous standard is 1:37, hindi talaga kayang abutin,” he said.
(We lowered it to 1:15 to be more realistic amid surges of cases here. We are just trying to be realistic about it because our previous standard is 1:37, but it is hard to achieve that.)
“Napag-agreehan namin na kailangan ibaba namin. ‘Yung 1:15 malaking bagay pa rin yan, malaki pa rin ang impact niyan sa ating pag-manage ng COVID-19,” he said.
(We agreed that the target needs to be lowered. The 1:15 is a big step as well, it can still make an impact in managing COVID-19.)
As of May 3, the Philippines has 1,062,225 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 69,466 active cases, 975,234 recoveries, and 17,525 deaths.