By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY – The city government of Davao plans to hire more frontline workers to beef up contact-tracing and surveillance teams as it anticipates a surge in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases following the extension of general community quarantine (GCQ).
“We need to add more people for our tracing and surveillance, so if there is a need to hire, we will hire,” said City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio during her interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5).
She said the local government has already received reinforcement from Davao City Police Office (DCPO), which has deployed some of its members to augment the contact-tracing and surveillance teams of the city.
She said the local government was expecting a spike in the COVID-19 cases here this month and in July, as more people are going out after long weeks of being under home quarantine, following the extension of the less restrictive GCQ until June 15.
“The doctor said let’s expect a surge because of GCQ in June and July, and of course, there will be a delay in the contact tracing of the people,” she said.
She said delay in the contact-tracing might lead to more COVID-19 because infected individual could not be quarantined immediately, increasing the risk of transmitting the highly contagious disease to other people in the community.
As of June 1, the Department of Health-Davao reported a total of 348 cases: 300 in Davao City, 15 Davao del Norte, 14 Davao del Sur, two Davao de Oro, 15 Davao Oriental, and two Davao Occidental.
Aside from the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), she said the region already had two more COVID-19 testing laboratories – Davao One World Diagnostic Center Inc. based in Davao City and Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.