Magalong emphasizes importance of contact tracing, 48-hour lockdown

BAGUIO CITY – "Please allow us to do our work. Contact tracing is a crucial component of our fight against COVID-19 and your cooperation is a must."

This was the appeal made by Mayor Benjamin Magalong to the public as he emphasized the importance of contact tracing and lockdowns in containing the surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

Magalong said the lockdown imposed on affected barangays is the way to ensure  the safety and security of persons who may have had contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients.

In Memorandum No.144-2020, he said even the Barangay officials, health and social workers, government employees, workers, uniformed personnel, cargo and logistics services are among those prohibited from going in and out of locked down barangays undergoing contact tracing for 48 hours to limit the movement of people.

He said the 48-hour time frame allows contact teams to complete their mission of tracking down all persons who had interaction with COVID-19 positive patients, and allowing people, including workers, to go in and out, will defeat the purpose.

Within 48 hours, the teams get to interview the patient, cull information on his/her whereabouts; identify and classify those he/she had been with; track and inform the contacts; facilitate testing  isolation and quarantine protocols; and expedite the analytics using the computerized contact tracing tool to identify further links of the patients, among others.  

Once they have a full grasp of the situation, the teams can recommend whether to expand or limit the coverage of the lockdown to a certain area.

As of this writing, the city’s total COVID-19 confirmed cases is at 146 with 77 active, 66 recoveries, and three deaths.

On August 3, the city recorded 11 cases of COVID-19 from the 12 locked down barangays of New Lucban,San Roque Village, Purok 1,Pucsusan, Kias, MRR Queen of Peace,Pinsao Pilot, Loakan (Ongasan and Pongian),Salud Mitra,San Vicente,St.Joseph Village, and Cresencia Village.

On August 4, 16 new cases were added from the locked down barangays of Balsigan,Camp 7, Campo Filipino,City Camp Proper,Irisan, San Luis Village,Sto Nino, and Pacdal.

On August 5, three patients were added to the list.