Some localities fear that COVID-19 cases may spike in their areas with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) being able to rehire only 15,000 contact tracers (CT) due to budgetary constraints.
Tuguegarao City, Cagayan Mayor Jefferson Soriano admitted having felt that his area lacks the desired contact tracers needed to cope up with the increased transmission of the virus.
In an interview over ABS-CBN Teleradyo, Soriano said Tuguegarao now has only 81 contact tracers from 200 with the reduced number of CTs rehired by the DILG.
Of the 373 active COVID-19 cases in Cagayan, 235 are from Tuguegarao City, prompting the city government to appeal to the regional Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to place it under the strictest enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) protocol from Jan. 20 to 29 which was eventually approved.
In case the COVID-19 situation ceases to improve in Tuguegarao City, the ECQ protocol might be extended in the area further.
Last Jan. 16, the DILG announced that it will rehire 15,000 contact tracers for at least another six months to ensure the continuity of the country’s contact tracing efforts.