The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has retained the services of 105 contact tracers working with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response teams in this city.
As of Tuesday, the contact tracers have resumed their tasks after they were officially deployed at the start of the week in rites held at the Bacolod City Government Center main lobby.
“As part of the efforts to intensify the contact tracing program, the DILG extended their contracts until December (this year),” City Administrator Em Ang said.
On Monday, Ang, who also sits as the executive director of the Emergency Operations Center-Task Force (EOC-TF), attended the deployment program together with DILG Bacolod City Director Ma. Maredith Joy Madayag; Dr. Edwin Miraflor, officer-in-charge of the City Health Office; and Dr. Chris Sorongon, EOC-TF medical deputy.
She said Mayor Evelio Leonardia has thanked Secretary Eduardo Año for responding positively to his request to extend the contracts of the city’s contact tracers after these expired earlier this month.
“Their work has been crucial to the implementation of the PDITR (Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment, and Re-integration) strategy in the fight against Covid-19,” Ang added.
In the past year, the DILG hired some 50,000 contact tracers nationwide, but the number has been reduced to only 15,000 due to budgetary constraints.
Contact tracers are employed under a contract of service status and receive a salary of PHP18,000-PHP19,000 per month.
As part of their responsibilities, they interview, profile, and perform an initial public health risk assessment of Covid-19 cases and their identified close contacts; refer the close contacts to isolation facilities; conduct enhanced contact tracing in collaboration with other agencies and private sectors; conduct daily monitoring of close and general contacts for at least 14 days, and perform such other tasks concerning the Covid-19 response. (PNA)