Cebu City’s contact tracers ready for deployment – Garganera
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City now has a total of 50 contact tracing teams to help locate and identify individuals who are sick with the coronavirus disease.
Each of the five-man team is now ready for deployment, said Councilor Joel Garaganera, the deputy chief implementer for emergency operations of the Interagency Task Force (IATF) in Cebu City.
Garganera said that the team members who completed their training with Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong last July 6 and 7 will be deployed to conduct intensified COVID-19 contact tracing in the city’s 80 barangays.
He said that some of the teams were already deployed ahead of the others to already start their respective tasks.
“Kailangan talaga house to house kasi if hindi, wala kang precise na target contact tracing if you avoid. Kailangan puntahan talag isa-isa yan,” said Department of Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary Alexander Macario.
(Contact tracing has to be done house-to-house to have a precise target. There is a need to visit each and every household.)
In case a household member would refuse to be tested, Macario said that barangay officials will have to come in to help convince the said individual to cooperate with the city’s contact tracers.
Mequiades Feliciano, the deputy chief implementer of the IATF in the Visayas, said that each of the contact tracing teams will be equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment for their protection.
Feliciano is giving Cebuanos the assurance that contact tracers were trained to prevent cross-contamination.
From having only 5 groups of contact tracers in April, Cebu City now has 50.
Garganera said they plan to further increase the city’s contact tracers to a total of 130 groups.
Aside from hiring contact tracers, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have also assigned personnel to help the city.
Initially, at least 50 policemen are now undergoing contact tracing training as a preparation for their deployment in the barangays. / dcb
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