Davao City drafting ordinance penalizing close contacts who refuse RT-PCR test

Published June 3, 2021, 4:12 PM

by Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – A proposed ordinance is being drafted at the City Council of Davao to penalize the close contacts who refuse to undergo a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

Dr. Ashley Lopez, acting head of the City Health Office, told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that the proposed ordinance will include penalties for first generation contacts or F1, second generation or F2, and third generation or F3 contacts who don’t submit themselves for swabbing.

The F1 are persons who are exposed to an index case, F2 are close contacts of F1, and F3 are close contacts of F2.

He said the public must take COVID-19 seriously as the pandemic affected several people already.

The Department of Health (DOH)-Davao reported 195 new cases here Tuesday, bringing the total cases to 17,528, with 2,013 active, 14,754 recoveries, and 761 deaths.

In a press statement issued by the City Information Office, Dr. Michelle Schlosser, spokesperson for Davao City COVID-19 Task Force, said the city would soon establish a swabbing area at the Magsaysay Park to hasten testing of F2 and F3 and DQR-traced persons.

Once established, she said the Sta. Ana swabbing center will only cater to F1 and persons with influenza-like illnesses (ILIs) while the drive-thru swabbing at the Crocodile Park will accommodate surveillance testing and F2 and F3 without ILIs.

Each site can accommodate 700 to 800 persons daily, she said.

Lopez encouraged people who receive a text message from Safe Davao QR (DQR) to not ignore the push notification and immediately undergo swab test because it means they have encountered an active case.

The SMS from DQR includes the place, date, and time where the individuals have encountered an index case.

“Once you receive a DQR, that means you are a probable contact. Our swab testing is free. I just cannot understand why you do not submit yourselves to swabbing. In our situation right now, we have to cooperate and participate in our mitigating measures against COVID-19. This is the only way that we can control COVID. If you don’t cooperate, we will have more cases because of you,” he said.

The DQR system is an electronic contact tracing and travel pass platform, intended to implement contactless gathering and electronic storage data within the city.