Marikina intensifies contact tracing to curb spread of COVID-19

Published August 8, 2020, 5:00 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

Marikina City is intensifying its capability to trace persons exposed to patients infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to prevent the further spread of the virus in the community.

Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said their contact tracers can trace up to 30 close contacts of one infected patient.

The local government is currently hiring more contact tracers who will be trained to conduct testing as well.

“One innovation that we currently have here in Marikina is that we have improved our contact tracing,” he said.

“Our current contact tracing rate is for every positive case, we have traced 30 identified individuals. And because our ratio is high, we can quickly contain the spread of the virus,” he added.

Teodoro said each of the 16 barangays in the city has a team of contact tracers composed of members from the City Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (CESU), barangay personnel, and the local police.

“We will continue to conduct contact tracing hanggang mag-zero ang number of cases natin dito sa Marikina (until our cases are down to zero),” Teodoro said.

Marikina City has one of the lowest coronavirus cases in Metro Manila with 907 confirmed cases, 456 recoveries and 44 deaths.

According to Teodoro, the current doubling time of COVID-19 cases in Marikina is at 14.68 days, noting that the transmission of the virus in the community is still “very slow.”

The mayor said Marikina can test 600 to 800 a day, which is almost double the target testing average of 400 to 500 per locality daily.

On Friday (Aug. 7), Teodoro and other city officials presented to Inter–Agency Task Force (IATF) chief and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III the best practices, innovations, and strategies employed by the city to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“The situation at the local level varies. There is no sole standard. The level of transmission varies, as well as the source of infection. Even the population and the configuration of the community is different,” the mayor said.

“I think they are looking at the best practices that a certain locality has which can then be adopted to other localities,” he added.