Hon Benjamin Magalong, Mayor of Baguio City and Chief of National Task Force- Contact Tracing, together with his team, held a one-day seminar on Contact Tracing at Police Regional Office 3, last Tuesday, July 21, 2020. The seminar seeks to train the teams composed of government health workers and Philippine National Police members tasked to trace contacts of COVID-19 cases in the region. The contact tracing team whose members are the health care workers such as doctors and nurses as they determine the level of risk of virus transmission, and the police for cognitive skills. Mayor Magalong said that it is better to have many contact tracing teams because there are cases when first level contacts of COVID-19 cases can reach as high as a hundred people.
Meanwhile, National Task Force on COVID-19 (NTF COVID-19) Chief Implementer Carlito G. Galvez Jr. who was also present during the activity highlighted the crucial role of Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) in the nation’s fight against the disease since the deployment of BHERTs is part of the government’s efforts to strengthen the country’s contact tracing capability under the “Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate” (PDITR) Strategy of the National Action Plan (NAP) against COVID-19 Phase II, which aims to balance the health and safety of the public and the economic recovery of the nation.
“As frontliners and one of the agencies tapped to fight COVID-19, we really need this kind of training for us to be equipped in this main public health intervention for COVID-19 response,” PRO3 Regional Director PBGEN Rhodel O. Sermonia stated. Baguio City’s “contact tracing e-system”, a partnership between health workers and law enforcement officers, is considered to be one of the best practices of local government units in containing the spread of the deadly disease.
Also present during the seminar were Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon, Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Martin Dino, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor.