DILG: Bicol has 179 contact tracing teams

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Bicol regional office has bared that there are some 179 contact tracing teams deployed across the region to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Olivio Ramirez, DILG Bicol’s Local Government Monitoring and Evaluation Division chief, said that the contact tracing teams comprise a total of 2,312 members who identify and assess people who have been exposed or in close contact with a patient positive of Covid-19.

During the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-Ugnayan sa Bicol radio program, Ramirez has assured that the contact tracing teams of local government units (LGUs) are performing well to prevent the spread of the virus in the region.

“The focus now of DILG is to monitor the contact tracing in different LGUs. If there were bigger [areas of] LGUs, then it is expected for them to create more than one contact tracing team,” he said.

Under the DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2020-077, the contact tracing teams of each LGU shall be led by the head of the Local Epidemiology Surveillance Unit and shall include the representatives from the volunteer groups, Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), among others as its members.

They will also ensure that the individuals included in the contact tracing lists are strictly observing home quarantine measures. They also monitor the status of probable, suspected and confirmed cases including the family members with known contact to a confirmed case, he said.

Meanwhile, Ramirez said that they are still teaching the contact tracing teams through necessary trainings. He said that out of 2,312 team members, only 639 members have been trained.

“It was based on the record of DILG. For now, we are coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH) to harmonize our data, though I think there’s no big difference between the data of DILG and DOH,” he stated. He added that the health department continues to provide trainings and necessary competency for the members of the contact tracing teams.

DOH Bicol reported that the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bicol is 228 as of July 13, 2020 with 128 active cases, 93 recovered and seven deaths. (PIA5/CEB/DILG5)