By Ivy Tejano
DAVAO CITY – The Davao City Government has stepped up the contact tracing of persons who may have been exposed to patients positive of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to control further spread of the disease in the city.
City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the city government’s contact tracing process was already on its third level. She likewise underscored that while it was a laborious process, it was nevertheless a core measure to control the further spread of the coronavirus.
“This is important because we need to know who needs to be tested, and we need to orient them, as well, on what they need to do, which is strict isolation; meaning they must not go near anyone,” Duterte said.
The city government has been conducting random testing in certain areas in the city. On Friday, the city government teams conducted random testing in Bankerohan, Buhangin, and areas adjacent to Barangay 21 and Barangay 23.
Duterte said those who tested positive of the coronavirus will be asked to account for the people they have had contact with, and from there on, the doctors will decide where to recommend a lockdown.
The city earlier approved lockdowns in some areas which had positive cases of COVID-19. The lockdowns were either a certain street, household, or puroks depending on the situation.
Currently, 16 various areas have been locked down, and 16 security teams were deployed to guard each area. There are also three teams deployed to do the random testing.
Duterte said that as the city intensifies contact tracing, it will also be pursuing the establishment of laboratories for coronavirus to speed up the testing process and more testing can be done.
The Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) is currently the only medical facility recognized by the National Reference Laboratory as a satellite laboratory in Mindanao. The SPMC can only accommodate 80 samples per day.