Private hospital group urges gov't to improve contact tracing efforts

Pateros contact tracers (DILG Pateros)

The Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PHAPi) urged the national government to improve its contact tracing efforts to break the chain of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission.

PHAPi President Dr. Jose Rene De Grano said that the current contact tracing efforts are still lacking in terms of finding the close contacts of a COVID-19 positive individual.

“Presently parang kulang na kulang ang contact tracing natin (it seems that our contact tracing is very lacking),” De Grano told reporters on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

“Parang instead na ang target nila ay at least 15 or 20 people, parang hanggang six or eight lang ang nako-contact nila (It seems that instead that their target should be at least 15 or 20 people, they can only trace up to six or eight people),” he added.

De Grano, meanwhile, also encouraged the public to cooperate with authorities.

“Hindi rin kasi nakikipag cooperate minsan ang mga tao. Ilalagay mo doon sa application, ibang number, ibang address, ibang pangalan---paano ka moko-contact or ma-trace nun. Ayun yung nagiging problem natin (Sometimes people also don't cooperate. They will put in the application a different contact number, address, or name --- how can they be contacted or traced? That is our problem),” he said.

The Philippines should have a good contact tracing mechanism just like in other countries, said De Grano.

“If you will note in other countries, ang bilis nila. Halimbawa sa Singapore, nandoon ka sa isang area at may nakita silang positive doon, lahat nung nakatira doon sa area na iyon nino-notify nila. Maganda iyon diba (they are fast. For example in Singapore, if you are in an area and they detected a positive person there, everyone who lives there will be notified.That's good isn't it?),” he said.

To curb the rising number of cases, contact tracing and minimum health standards should be implemented properly, said De Grano.

“Ang importante ay I think diyan ay yung sinasabing contact tracing. And the implementation of the minimum health protocols---the wearing of the mask, bawal dapat ang social gathering (The important thing is the contact tracing. And the implementation of the minimum health protocols --- the wearing of the mask and that social gathering should not be allowed),” he said.