Quarantine measures alone won't curb COVID-19, PH needs contact tracing, mass testing – PCP

Published May 4, 2021, 11:50 AM

by Gabriela Baron

The Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) on Tuesday, May 4, reiterated that quarantine measures alone such as enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) will not curb coronavirus disease (COVID-19).


In an interview over DZBB, Dr. Maricar Limpin, Vice President of PCP, batted for contact tracing and mass testing as long-term solutions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

While Limpin agrees that MECQ is helping reduce “the very rapid” transmission of the virus in Metro Manila, it is still not enough.

“Ang community quarantine ay isang paraan kung saan makakatulong ma-contain natin yung pagdami ng kaso. So definitely makakatulong ito para ma-maintain natin sa MECQ yung NCR [National Capital Region] para mas lalo pa nating mapababa (Community quarantine is a way in which we can help contain the rise in cases. So it will definitely help us to further reduce our cases while NCR is under MECQ),” Limpin said.

“However, let me just emphasize itong mga quarantine measure na ito ay short-term lang (These quarantine measures are only short-term). Ang pinakaimportante (The most important), as we have been saying all along magmula pa (since) last year, we need to have permanent measures effective to contain the pandemic,” the physician added.

Limpin stressed that the country needs to have a “uniform” contact tracing system and to strengthen its implementation within the local government unit level.

“Standard sana yung contact tracing natin para mas mabilis, real-time at mahahabol agad natin yung mga tao na na-expose at ma-isolate agad natin, at kung magkasakit sila, i-treat natin agad (We need to have a standard contact tracing system so we can trace faster, real-time, and we can easily identify those who have been exposed to positive cases and we can quickly isolate and treat them),” she added.

Limpin also renewed their call for mass testing as a long-term solution to contain the virus and to further reduce the cases.