Medical students to gov't: Strengthen contact tracing

Published August 3, 2021, 10:31 AM

by Gabriela Baron

The Philippine Medical Students’ Association (PMSA) urged the national government to strengthen contact tracing amid the threat of the more transmissible coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Delta variant.


The country’s current contact tracing ratio is at 1:6, far from the ideal 1:30 ratio, PMSA stressed.

“COVID-19 screening through testing and contact tracing should be strengthened to identify the actual epidemiologic curve and burden of COVID-19. Genomic surveillance should also be given importance to detect emerging variants that may cause another wave of cases,” PMSA said.

The group also urged the national government to speed up its vaccination drive to achieve herd immunity faster and “decrease the chances of mutation of the virus.”

“All of these can be done by higher budget allocation to public hospitals and the health sector in general, proper compensation to our health workers, and improvement of the health system of our country,” it added.

PMSA also bared LAPAT, a “scientific response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The LAPAT response is:

L-ibreng testing at pagpapagamot sa COVID-19 (Free testing and treatment for COVID-19)

A-garang contact tracing at genomic surveillance (Immediate contact tracing and genomic surveillance)

P-alawakin at pabilisin ang pagbabakuna (Expand and faster vaccination)

A-yuda sa pag-quarantine at para sa lahat (Aid for everyone)

T-aasan ang kapasidad ng sistema pang kalusugan (Increase the capacity of the health system)

“We continue to clamor for free mass testing, prompt contact tracing, speedy vaccine distribution, and sufficient financial aid. The health sector has persistently and unceasingly called for these actions yet the government fails to heed the demands of the people.”