Low contact tracing performance, major factor in COVID-19 surge - DILG

The current close contact tracing ratio of one is to seven is far-off from the desired one is to 30 ratio under the “Magalong (Baguio City mayor and contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong) formula, a factor that led to the surge of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country.


In a press briefing Monday, March 15, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya admitted that the figure is very alarming as he urged the local government units (LGUs) to improve their contact-tracing efforts.

Admitting that the contact-tracing ration is a performance indicator, Malaya said the DILG has been going the rounds of the LGUs specifically in the areas with high COVID-19 cases to coordinate with the officials of the localities. He said this is being done with Magalong.

In coordinating with the LGUs, Malaya said that the DILG has strongly batted them not to only focus on the first level close contacts of the COVID-19 positive patients but down to the second and third generations of close contact individuals.

The DILG official noted many variables involved in contact tracing citing incidents when the contact tracers who get sick and are unable to perform their tasks, uncooperative individuals who refused to provide complete information on their close contact persons and the complacency of the contact tracers who think that the pandemic has ended when the national vaccination program started.

He stressed that these are contributory factors that led to the sub-par contact tracing ratio but assured that efforts will relentlessly be pursued to improve on the performance.

Expressing deep concern, Malaya noted that currently the transmission of the virus has now been traced to the households among family members, a stark contrast when COVID-19 was predominantly detected in the workplaces previously.

With the prevailing situation, Malaya appealed to the public to change their outfits when going home, take a bath and ensure that they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 before interacting with other members of the household.