MANILA—There is an increase in the number of DOH-accredited Covid-19 Testing Centers in the country. The last count was 28 and another 10 or so from the Philippine Red Cross and the private sector. The supply and deliveries of testing kits are likewise improving while additional nurses and health workers are hired to meet the country’s backlog of mass testing for probable and suspected Covid-19 patients.
The big challenge of the government as of the moment aside from finding vaccines that cure the disease is knowing the infected persons before they can exponentially transmit the virus to others. Tracing these people is a daunting task of health workers not only because of the dangers it posed but also by the sheer number of persons to be traced.
In a virtual press briefing on Tuesday, Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III proposed to upgrade the government’s contact tracing efforts to stop Covid-19 transmission and at the same time create jobs to activate the economy.
Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson, in a statement released, Tuesday, expressed support on the proposal of the DOF to hire contact tracers from among the jobless. He said, “Contact tracing is a key first step in addressing the Covid-19 threat. It should provide the baseline data or reference on who to test. Without it, our mass testing will be like shooting at the moon or running around like headless chickens.”
“Kung maipapatupad ang mungkahing ito nang maayos, maari nating lutasin agad ang dalawang problema,” he said, referring to the twin problems of transmission of Covid-19 and unemployment.
Senator Lacson encouraged the DOH to immediately hire and to train more contact tracers in communities where transmission of the virus if prevalent but he doubts if the department alone can implement the proposal of Secretary Dominguez.
“Ang bagay na ito ay nasa kamay na ng liderato ng DOH. Maimplementa kaya nila ang mungkahi ni Sec. Dominguez sa dami nilang inaasikaso ngayon?” the senator asked.