CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–Noting that there is a need to improve on the contact tracing system in the region, National Action Plan on COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez said they are tapping the expertise as well as the technology of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
During the Press Conference with the National Task Force CODE Team, August 19, here, Galvez said the efforts in boosting capacity to respond to COVID-19 crisis particularly on contact tracing is a joint effort of agencies, especially the police, who have greater knowledge on the whereabouts of the people in their area.
“Ginagamit po ang inquisitive at investigative skill para matukoy kung sino ang connection at contact sa COVID cases (The inquisitive and investigative skills are used to determine the connection and contacts of COVID cases),” Galvez said.
The chief implementer added that the surveillance and case finding method of the PNP will be of great use to contact tracing teams as well as the Geographic Information System (GIS), which is used by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
“Ang GIS, mayroon po ang CIDG n’yan na pwede pong gamitin, pwedeng ipahiram ng PNP na hindi talaga makukuha na isang normal na tao (The CIDG has that GIS that can be used, that can be lent by the PNP. It can provide information that could never be obtained by a normal person),” the chief added.
In Cagayan de Oro, Galvez commended Mayor Oscar Moreno’s strategy to mobilize surveillance teams in tracing contacts and connections of COVID-19 cases. To date, the teams already visited about 270,000 households.
Galvez reiterates that with such practice, the LGUs could prevent further spread of the virus in their area without the need to wait for suspected cases to go or report symptoms to hospitals or isolation units.
In the one-day training of 42 frontliners in the region, the National Task Force CODE Team targets to equip the provinces on the use of an analytical tool to set up the LGUs’ own COVID-19 database using their data collection tool.
“Huwag po nating isipin na ang pagtulong ng Armed Forces of the Philippines at Philippine National Police ay militarilization (Let us not think that the help of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police is part of militarization),” Galvez said citing that helping the country in addressing the pandemic is part of their mandate.
Along with Contact Tracing Czar Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the National Task Force Code visited the region as instructed by President Rodrigo Duterte to strengthen the region’s testing capacity, treatment facility, and skills of responders to fight the adverse effects of COVID-19. (RTP/PIA10)