The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has signed a memorandum circular directing barangay captains to designate one contact tracer for every barangay which population does not exceed 5,000 residents.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the move is part of the department’s efforts to strengthen contact tracing strength as the country continues to face overwhelming challenges in the fight against the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).
Signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo Año memorandum circular (MC) no. 2021-103 directs the barangay captains to designate even one contact tracer per barangay having a population of not over 5,000 which is equivalent to one is to 5,000 ratio.
In barangays exceeding the 5,000 population mark, Año stressed the need to appoint additional contact workers.
The DILG chief also noted that it is more viable for the barangay captains to have contact tracers that come from the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT).
Año noted that it is the responsibility of the contact tracers to go house to house in search for individuals that came from the provinces and other countries.
After the search, the contact tracers will have to jot down the names of the close contacts of the concerned persons.
In the said Sept. 16, 2021 MC, the contact tracers are tasked to request the persons coming from other places to have their temperature checked in the morning and afternoons for 14 days while remaining inside their residences in the said period.
During their isolations, the contact tracers will have to ask the said persons to observe possible COVID-19 symptoms like cough, difficulty in breathing and other similar signs.
“Araw araw na bisitahin ang residente at alamin ang kanilang kanilang kondisyon mula sa distansyang hindo bababa sa isang metro. Palagi magsuot ng N95 o kaya surgical mask (The resident should be visited daily to determine their condition from a distance not nearer than one meter. Always wear N95 or surgical masks),’’ Año said in the MC.
In the event COVID-19 signs are determined, the persons will immediately be separated from the household members being a COVID-19 suspect and will be brought to the Department of Health (DOH) referral center or hospitals for further medical examination and treatment.
Año said that the contact tracers are required to report to the barangay captains on the steps being taken in monitoring the conditions of the residents. (Chito A. Chavez)