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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Contact Tracing For COVID-19 Findings, Intensified In Davao City

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Davao City: The Davao City government has intensified its contact tracing for coronavirus case finding with the deployment of 690 more tracers.

The 690 newly-trained tracers were among the 1,500 hired by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the government’s Covid-19 case finding activity.

Dr. Julinda Acosta, the head of the Technical Division of City Health Office (CHO), said that all the 1,500 contact tracers hired by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) have already undergone orientation. They are just awaiting the deployment order for their assigned areas.

She noted that intensifying contact tracing should greatly help in the immediate detection of Covid cases in the city to stop the spread of the virus at the earliest stage.

“Tungod kay daghan na tag contact tracers, paspas na gyud atoang contact tracing. Wala nay rason na late ang contact tracing, or si Covid case wala na contact or natawagan kasi deployed na ang tracers sa different districts (Because we now have a lot of contact tracers, contact tracing will also speed up. We don’t have a reason that contact tracing will be late or the Covid case is not contacted because we already deployed tracers to different districts of the city),” Acosta said.

Acosta said that her office is fast-tracking the assignment of districts and barangays for the immediate deployment of the remaining contact tracers.

Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte has also mentioned in her State of the City Address (SOCA) on November 16 that contact tracing has been challenging. Moreover, to further help with the tracing, she said that the city has developed the Safe Davao QR which will be implemented starting November 23, 2020.

“We envision to use technology to support the team. We endeavor to catch many of the contacts of a confirmed positive case with the use of the Safe Davao QR,” she said.

Dr. Ashley Lopez, the focal person of the Department of Health – City Health Office Covid-19, also said that intensifying the contact tracing is essential. He attributed the increase of identified cases in the city the past days to the efforts of the contact tracers in identifying all the possible transmission.

Besides the intensification of tracing, Lopez said that they are constantly creating measures to control the increase of positive cases in the city. They are working on providing adequate capacity for testing to decrease the positivity rate of the city, which should be less than five percent. The city is at a 16 percent positivity rate.

Currently, Davao City has four (4) testing centers. These are the Davao One World Diagnostics and Davao Doctors Hospital, which are private hospitals, and the Sta. Ana Health Center and the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).

Lopez said that three (3) more reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines are coming that will be installed at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport, Los Amigos Health Center, and Davao Doctors Hospital.

“We are also working with DOH to create a makeshift or mobile laboratory for additional testing sites in the city. Currently, the city already has a mobile laboratory in Rizal Memorial Colleges and Mamay Inn for Covid positive mild cases,” he said.

The city will also put three (3) community swabbing collection areas in Toril, Bunawan, and Calinan.

“These will be strategically placed in these areas to cater people in Toril, Bunawan, and Calinan so that they wouldn’t be hassled to go to the city just for testing,” Lopez said.

“These additional facilities would help us not only for access or accommodate more patients for testing, but this will help us out in reducing our cases and intensify our case-finding,” he added.  (City Information Office)

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