CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–As part of the government’s efforts in containing the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID)-19, the local government units (LGUs) in the region have organized 143 local contact tracing teams (LCTTs) with 1,712 members.
During the NorMin COVID-19 Response Task Force press conference, July 24, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-10 Regional Director Arnel Agabe said Bukidnon has organized 33 teams with 441 members, Camiguin has 5 with 65 members, Lanao del Norte has 32 with 185 members, Misamis Occidental has 22 with 208 members, Misamis Oriental has 44 with 452 members, Cagayan de Oro City has 1 with 227 members, and Iligan City has 6 with 134 members.
“Ang nakasalamuha automatic kini sila imonitor sa atong mga concerned local government unit personnel para mapugngan o malikayan katong mga nakontak sa COVID-19 positive nga dili makatakod sa ilang mga silingan ug mga kapamilya,” Agabe said.
(Those who are in contact are monitored by our concerned local government unit personnel to contain or prevent the spread of the virus from the COVID-19 positive case to his or her neighbors and family members)
The regional director added that having volunteers from the residents of a barangay is preferred since they are the ones who are very familiar with the community especially those who are related to confirmed COVID-19 patients.
“This is a very important knowledge para makatabang sa (to help the) Department of Health, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, kay kini man sila ang gihatagan ug panguna nga tahas sa (since they are the ones who were given the primary task on) contact tracing,” Agabe said.
For his part, DOH-10 Regional Director Adriano Suba-an said since all of the LGUs have their own LCTT already, the department along with the PNP will ensure the functionality of the teams.
He added that DOH is also coordinating with the LGU in Baguio, known to have a good contact tracing system, to determine the region’s areas to improve on in terms of identifying contacts of COVID-19 confirmed cases.
As for the structure of LCTT, Suba-an said that though there is a guideline for such, LGUs are not prevented to come up with their own at the barangay level. “If there is no participation in the barangay level, we will fail in our fight against COVID-19,” Suba-an added.
Under the DILG proposal to the IATF-MEID, contact tracers are preferably graduates of Bachelor’s Degree on Allied Medical Courses, other health-related courses, or Criminology. Second priority maybe given to those applicants who have completed at least two years of college education in medical or criminology-related courses. (RTP/PIA10)