EOC warns government personnel: Cooperate with contact tracing or else…
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) here is warning government personnel and those who are associated with the government that they could get arrested if they don’t cooperate with the contact tracing for COVID-19.
This after two firefighters refused to be swabbed last September 5, 2020 after they were identified as close contacts of a man in Barangay Cogon Pardo who died and proved positive to COVID-19.
All the contacts who were in the patient’s wake were swabbed, but the two firefighters, who carried the patient to the hospital, refused twice.
The firefighters claimed to have isolated themselves when they refused to be swabbed.
As of September 9, 2020, the firefighters have already been swabbed and isolated accordingly, but Councilor Joel Garganera, the head of the EOC said it could be too late.
A total of 57 samples were taken for that case alone as the family was able to hold a funeral wake before the results of the polymerase chain reaction test (PCR) of the patient was released.
“The results of that 57 samples are still being processed. We are waiting for that until now and we shall see,” said the councilor.
Still, that refusal by the firefighters has already caused a huge gap in the contact tracing timeline.
In the time they refused to be swabbed, they may have been in contact with more people.
“This is really a race against time. We need the urgency for the swabbing and the isolation as soon as the contacts are identified. We don’t expect this kind of behavior from someone who works for a government arm,” said Garganera.
The EOC warned that government personnel will not be spared in the contact tracing and swab testing and if they should try to refuse again, they will be arrested immediately.
The councilor said that the government personnel must be the first to cooperate to set a good example to the public when it comes to fighting the spread of COVID-19.
“We will not give any more chances next time. Let this serve as a warning for the government personnel,” said the councilor.
As of now, the city has 345 active cases, with the EOC monitoring at least 164 near recovery.
There were 11 new cases recorded on September 8, 2020, and these were the result from 165 swab testing, which means that the city’s positivity rate has dropped to a mere 1.67 percent.
Garganera said these number of cases can still drop, and incidents of new cases could be prevented if everyone cooperates, including government workers. /bmjo
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