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

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Tuesday urged local chief executives of areas where no cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had been recorded to start forming contact tracing teams.

Magalong, who had been lauded by several government officials for Baguio’s stellar response to the pandemic, underscored the importance of contact tracing and widespread testing in stemming the spread of COVID-19.

“I would like to encourage po ‘yung ating mga local government units na wala pa po silang positive case: this is now the right time for them to establish their capability on contact tracing,” he said in the virtual presser of the Department of Health (DOH).

“Umpisahan na po nila ‘yung pag-organisa ng teams nila, and at the same time, i-train na po nila and i-set up na po nila ‘yung kanilang mga technology,” he added.

The DOH earlier said that 39 provinces did not report a new COVID-19 case between May 2 and May 15.

Thirty-two of these areas have never recorded any infection since COVID-19 broke out in the Philippines in January.

Meanwhile, Baguio City only has two active COVID-19 cases remaining after going 21 days without new infections.

“Napakahirap talagang pigilan kaagad [ng transmission],” Magalong said. “Maski sabihin mo talagang matindi ’yung contact tracing niyo… magkakaroon at magkakaroon lagi kung kulang din ‘yung capacity mo to test.”

Magalong also stressed that local chief executives play a critical role in contact tracing.

“Marami pong hindrances sa contract tracing… pero kung ang mayor and governor is at the forefront, immediately, puwede niyang tanggalin ‘yung harang na ‘yan. Madali niyang i-fast track ‘yung galaw, coordination, collaboration with the other agencies para talagang mapabilis ‘yung contact tracing,” he said. — DVM, GMA News