Issue of September 13, 2020
Mt. Province
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Better contact tracing noted
by PNA release

The efficiency of the government’s contract tracing has improved with almost 70 percent of the contacts of Covid-19 cases being traced, a health official said.

“Our efficiency for contact tracing, if you compare from the time Aug. 26 to 31, only about 45 percent of contacts were traced. The ratio before was 1:3:5. Now, our ratio is 1:4:10 and the efficiency is almost 70 percent of those contacts are being traced already,” Department of Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual media forum.

The improvement was a result of the inclusion of two variables – complete address and contact numbers – in the case investigation forms as mandatory, Vergeire said.

Local government units earlier reported that they cannot initiate contact tracing because the Covid-19 database lack both data. It is the LGUs, through the help of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, that hire contact tracers in the communities.

“A directive was given in August, effective Sept. 1, that full address, phone number, will be mandatory prior to uploading. These were included in our system, Covid Kaya and CDRs, so, when we say this is a mandatory field, a disease reporting unit will not be complete if not all variables are given,” Vergeire said.

Such change or improvement, she added, may result in an “irregularly high number of cases in the coming days as cases from the laboratories get reported.”

“We will ensure to highlight which of these cases are late reports. We expect that this is a one-time occurrence and laboratories have changed their process to ensure those information are included in the reports provided to the DOH and of course to their LGUs,” Vergeire said.

While there is a noted improvement in contact tracing efficiency and decrease in hospital and healthcare utilization rate, Vergeire urged the public not to be complacent and to continue complying with the minimum health standards.

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