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Here’s how Baguio City lowered its cases of COVID-19 with the help of contact tracing

Baguio City is seen as one of the areas in the country with the most efficient contact tracing system, that it is able to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

According to a recent “Need To Know” episode, the city does not wait for COVID-19 test results to start contact tracing and giving rapid diagnostic tests to close contacts of suspected cases with symptoms.

READ: Magalong laughs off ‘offer’ to be COVID-19 tracing czar

Mayor Benjamin Magalong shared that he decided to bring in the technology he used back when he was still chief of the crime investigation and detection group of the Philippine National Police.

“Meron kaming ginagamit na bagong technology, ’yung GIS naman para sa geospatial analysis,” the mayor said.

He said Baguio City used the Case Management Analysis System (CMAS) to help with contact tracing. 

“Nakikita namin yung gaps, yung kakulangan ng aming contact tracer at naa-address kaagad namin, lalong-lalo na sa link diagram kaya nasusundan namin talaga ’yung contacts nung contacts nung contacts.”

READ: Magalong urges creation of contact tracing teams in COVID-free areas

Apart from having 20 police officers help out in the tracing, contact tracers are also assigned to work hand in hand with healthcare workers and police officers.

Dr. Helen Colewan, who handles two barangay health centers in Baguio, shared that her contact tracers were also nurses and midwives of the center.

“A paramedical person and the policemen, magkaiba ang skills nila,” Colewan explained. “Pag sa policeman I guess they are better when it comes to investigation so it comes in handy also and their cognitive skills. For us, sa health, medyo compassionate ’yung pag-interview namin, pero combine together nakakatulong talaga.”

The data are immediately recorded on the COVID-19 Monitor site, which shows where the cases are located.

VISIT: GMA News Online COVID-19 Dashboard

As of Thursday, Baguio City only has 45 confirmed COVID-19 cases. – RC, GMA News