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  • Publisher’s Note

    Dear Kababayans, I hope you are all doing well this April and are keeping safe and healthy during this trying time. Last month we saw businesses closing down and workers getting laid off because of the economic shutdown that was created by the Coronavirus Pandemic. This puts a lot of stress on people as bills just [...]

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Page added on May 13, 2020

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DOF wants to hire contract tracers amid COVID-19 pandemic

The government should hire more contact tracers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said Tuesday, 58 days since Luzon has been placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Dominguez said hiring contract tracers would not only boost the health capacity of the country amid the COVID-19 emergency, but also provide employment to those temporarily unemployed due to the lockdown brought about by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The ECQ banned mass transportation and prohibited mass gatherings which resulted in work stoppage in many industries.

“Around 1.2 to 1.5 million lost their jobs, temporarily, so we can hire them for contact tracing which we are having a hard time doing,” Dominguez said.

“One contract tracer can take a whole day for one case, so we need to hire more contract tracers to match the numbers we expect [of tracking],” Dominguez added. blame for slow contract tracing of individuals who boarded the same plane used by the Chinese couple from Wuhan, China—the first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said only 17% of the 331 passengers of the plane in question were tracked by authorities since airlines allegedly refused to give the contact details of passengers due to supposed confidentiality. Transportation  Secretary Arthur Tugade claimed there was no standard operating procedure in contact tracing at all and that the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) should have forced the airlines to disclose the vital information.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, for his part, pinned the blame on the Civil Aviation Board and the Bureau of Immigration whom he said were sleeping on the job.

The government is targeting conducting 15,000 COVID-19 tests per day by May 15—the day the lockdown is expected to be lifted.

Earlier, the government set an initial target of conducting 8,000 COVID-19 tests per day by April 30 but this was not met.

The conduct of 8,000 COVID-19 tests per day was just met on Monday, May 11, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Vergeire said that the country is now conducting 8,637 tests per day, and that 158,176 individuals have been tested for COVID-19 as of posting time.

The Philippines has registered 11,086 COVID-19 cases so far. Of this number, 1,999 recovered while 726 died.

Source: GMA News









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