CALOOCAN CITY, July 13 (PIA) — The Quezon City government hired some 300 contact tracers to locate those who have been in contact with COVID-19 positive patients.
According to Mayor Joy Belmonte aggressive contact tracing is key to testing will help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the city thus they need to augment the staff of the city’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) that usually conduct contact tracing.
“We have to keep pace with new infections by forming many groups of contact tracers who will be able to immediately identify those who have been in close contact with COVID-19 patients,” Belmonte said.
CESU head Dr. Rolando Cruz, the newly-hired contact tracers are tasked to trace individuals who have been in direct contact with a COVID-19 patient based on their narrative and activities for the past two weeks.
“We have formed 30 teams of contact tracers. Through them, our goal is to inform and educate those who have been exposed about quarantine protocols to reduce transmission,” said Cruz.
Hired contact tracers, Cruz added, have undergone one-day intensive contact tracing training which includes topics on tracing protocols, proper donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE), and effective communication and interviews.
The city’s current pool of contact tracers, who were chosen from a thousand applicants, are now comprised of registered nurses, medical technologists, Philippine National Police contingents, and at least two persons enlisted by each barangay.
The City government has also reinforced its COVID-19 Response Center by adding 25 phone profilers and 30 encoders to attend to questions and concerns from callers.
Cruz advised citizens to contact the following contact tracing hotlines if they have been exposed to COVID-19 patients, or experiencing symptoms of the disease: 8703-2759, 8703-4398, 0916-1228628, 0908-6398026; or via email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The hotlines are open from Monday to Friday, between 8AM and 5PM. (QC PAISD/PIA-NCR)