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Galvez admits 'gap' in contact tracing, but says gov't is addressing it


National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 chief implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday said they have identified "gaps" in the contact tracing but they are already working to address this.

In a public briefing, Galvez said there is a lack of testing done to persons who had interactions with known COVID-19 patients.

Galvez said Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the government's contact tracing czar, had a meeting with local government associations to discuss the matter.

“Ang nakita po namin marami pong mga gap,” Galvez said.

“Sa isang positive, ay meron tayong tinatawag na 37 contact. Dito makikita po natin na meron po tayong gap, na ‘yung ating nate-test na close contact ay hindi sapat,” he added.

Galvez said authorities are having adjustments and deliberations in light of the development.

He said Magalong is conducting seminars for local authorities in Metro Manila and CALABARZON regions as well as in Cebu City on contact tracing.

He added that technologies like application were introduced to them as a tool for their contact tracing operations.

Due to this, Galvez said they are targeting more contact tracers and a budget to pay them. According to him, the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act will cover the expenses.

In a press conference on Monday, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that around 2 million test kits are still available.

Recently, DOH expanded the testing guidelines for COVID-19, now including teachers, as well as workers in tourism, transportation, manufacturing sectors, among other related industries.

Residents in areas with clustering of COVID-19 cases are also qualified for testing under the new guidelines.

Under the new guidelines, Vergeire said COVID-19 testing will be offered to the following groups:

  • frontliners in tourist zones
  • workers in manufacturing companies and public service providers
  • employees in economic zones
  • drivers, ‘’konduktor,” pilots, flight attendants
  • waiters, restaurant managers
  • bank tellers
  • cashiers, clerk, messengers, security guard, among others

—KBK, GMA News