Amid the increase in those who tested positive for COVID-19, contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong admitted on Tuesday that the level of contact tracing in the country has dropped.
At the House Committee on Health hearing, Magalong said the efficiency ratio of contact tracing is declining.
“For the past 4 weeks, nakita niyo na talagang nag-deteriorate nang malaki. And look at the average, from 1:7, it went down to 1:3. Ibig sabihin… sa contact tracing efficiency ratio of 1:3 to 1:5, ang nako-contact trace lang diyan are members of the household,” explained Magalong.
“Ang gagawin lang po ng isang contact tracer, ia-announce lang ‘yong positive patient – hanapin niyo ‘yong members ng household and have them quarantine. Ganun na lang po. It doesn’t go beyond the F1. Ang F1 po ‘yong household contact o close associate niya sa work,” he added.
Contact tracing is one of the visible ways to control the spread of COVID-19, in addition to testing and identifying coronavirus-positive people, and isolating them.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health has ensured that COVID-19 testing is being expanded.
Efficiency ratio of contact tracing decreases: Magalong
“We should be targeting 100,000 tests per day and that is the objective,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
The Office of the Vice President launched the free antigen testing program in Malabon City on Tuesday.
Three buses called “Swab Cabs” circled the city to conduct antigen testing, aimed at strengthening COVID-19 testing in communities.
Up to 419 were tested, of which 24 tested positive.
On Tuesday, the DOH recorded 9,296 additional cases of COVID-19, causing the total number of confirmed cases to rise to 741,181, of which 124,680 were active cases or still ill.
Meanwhile, DOH said the public should not expect to see an immediate decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases following the start of enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and some neighboring provinces.
Coinciding with the first day of the stricter quarantine restriction on the so-called “NCR Plus,” the highest number of new COVID-19 cases was recorded in one day, at more than 10,000.