QC hires 300 contact tracers to contain spread of new COVID-19 cases

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 13) — The Quezon City government said it has hired 300 contact tracers to stem the spread of new COVID-19 cases in the area.

In a statement released Monday, Mayor Joy Belmonte said, “Aggressive contact tracing is key to testing the right population. We have to keep pace with new infections by forming many groups of contact tracers who will be able to immediately identify those who have been in close contact with COVID-19 patients.”

Dr. Rolando Cruz, the head of the city’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) said through the contact tracers, the goal is to inform and educate people who have been exposed to the virus on what they should do to reduce transmission.

Registered nurses, medical technologists, members of the Philippine National Police, and at least two persons enlisted by each barangay make up the current pool of tracers.

Cruz added they have undergone one-day intensive contact tracing training which includes topics on tracing protocols, proper donning and doffing of personal protective equipment, and effective communication and interviews.

In Monday's Department of Health virtual presser, Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said there were 7,371 nurses deployed in their respective communities who were involved in contact tracing as well as specimen collection.

There were also 3,830 public health associates who \are also part of contact tracing efforts.

To date, the DOH said there were 57,006 COVID-19 cases in the country. Today also marked the new highest single-day COVID-19 recoveries at 4,325.

The number of patients who have beaten the disease rose to 20,371, the DOH said. There were 65 more fatalities, with the death toll climbing to 1,599.