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Cebu City EOC: No backlogs in contact tracing

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | September 14,2020 - 10:30 AM

EOC: No backlogs in contact tracing

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The number of new coronavirus cases in Cebu City may have slightly increased in the second week since being downgraded to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

But local officials assured the public that authorities are well-prepared for the possibility of another surge but at the same time, are also doing their best to prevent rapid transmission.

Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) czar, city councilor Joel Garganera, in a phone interview with CDN Digital, said the city’s contact tracing team currently has no backlog, which means all first-generation contacts of previously confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in the city have been identified, tested, and isolated.

Read: 6 Cebu City establishments suspend operations due to COVID infections

“All those confirmed to be positive have been isolated and the households where they belong have been placed under lockdown while swab results of their contacts are still pending,” said Garganera in Cebuano.

From September 6 to September 12, Cebu City, based on data from the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), logged a total of 144 new cases of COVID-19.

It was higher compared to the previous week or during the first week under MGCQ, from August 30 to September 5, wherein only 86 new cases were recorded.

READ MORE: Cebu City’s active cases slightly increase to 392

But Garganera said aside from work-to-home transmission as an emerging prevalent source of new infections, most of the city’s new COVID-19 cases were close contacts of previously confirmed patients.

“For example, on September 12, of the 25 cases we recorded, more than half of it was first-generation contacts. We expect a slight rise in the new cases partly because we have strengthened our contact tracing efforts in identifying, isolating, and testing first-generation contacts quickly,” said Garganera.

“Yes, we may have recorded double-digit cases recently but the numbers haven’t reached alarming levels, and we pray this will continue,” he added.

Cebu City was placed under MGCQ on September 1, 2020. /bmjo

READ MORE: EOC: Slight rise in cases is expected under MGCQ

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