Nat’l task force admits contact tracing was ‘neglected’

An official of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 admitted that contact tracing has been neglected and still needs to be ratified to reduce COVID-19 cases.

According to NTF Against COVID-19 Spokesperson Gen Restituto Padilla, contact tracing, which is one of the implemented to control the spread of the coronavirus, has not received much attention.

“Napabayaan po ‘yan, I have to admit medyo nag-backslide tayo sa contact tracing,” Padilla said in an interview with Teleradyo.

“Ang problema, may reluctance pa rin ‘yong iba na i-share ‘yong personal data nila at magsalita. Kaya kahit masama pakiramdam. sinasarili nila, nandoon lang sila sa bahay, kaya kumakalat,” said Padilla.

This is in the face of a resurgence in the number of new COVID-19 cases being recorded in some areas in the country, which has been observed by government officials and experts.

Various contact tracing have been launched by local government units, which have also been required in establishments in their jurisdictions.

Besides the app, you can also manually fill out a contact tracing form.

But the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has previously said that this does not mean that tracing is effective even with or written forms.

Nat’l task force admits contact tracing was ‘neglected’

“Kailangan po kombinasyon ng tao at technology… mag-i-interview ka ng tao… mayroon pag-i-imbestiga ‘yan na hindi nagagawa ng app,” said DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing.

“Kaya lang napansin natin medyo kumaunti ang contact tracers. Problema ‘yan lalo ‘pag nagkaka-surge,” said Densing.

According to DILG data, only Manila, Pateros, San Juan, and Taguig have complied with the target of one contract tracer for every 800 residents.

If the target is followed, that means about 135,000 contact tracers are needed nationwide.

In Metro Manila, 50,000 contact tracers are targeted but so far only 15,000 have been hired by the government, whose contracts will expire by June.

Earlier, contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong said that the ratio of contact tracing in should be at 1:37.

DILG proposed to have a unified tracing app nationwide for safer and faster data retrieval in the time it is needed.