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Disclosure of personal info on COVID-19 positive cases now mandatory –Nograles

Disclosure of personal information related to positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is now mandatory, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles announced on Sunday.

In a virtual briefing, Nograles, spokesperson for the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said the body has adopted the policy of mandatory public disclosure of personal information relating to positive cases of COVID-19 to strengthen the government's contact-tracing efforts.

"Para matulungan ang contact-tracing efforts ng ating pamahalaan, mandatory o required na po ang paglalahad ng personal na information pagdating sa ating mga COVID-19 cases," he said.

Likewise, Nograles said the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) is now tasked to lead the contact-tracing efforts of the government.

"Ang OCD na ang mangunguna sa contact tracing efforts ng pamahalaan at sila ay inaatasang makipag-ugnayan sa DOH (Department of Health) para mag-sharing ng datos alinsunod sa Data Privacy Act."

Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier encouraged individuals who turned out positive for the disease to voluntarily and publicly declare their status to alert those they have interacted with to take necessary measures against further spreading COVID-19.

"If public figures like Prince Charles, Boris Johnson, Tom Hanks, Christopher de Leon and several of our own legislators had voluntarily and publicly declared they are or were infected, maybe it is time for the man on the street --the ordinary Filipinos --to do the same in order to alert those who they had interacted with to take the necessary measures, so that the infection does not spread further," he said.

However, Commissioner Raymund Liboro of the National Privacy Commission had argued that the whereabouts of a person who tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 is more important than the name of the patient itself.

As of Saturday, there are a total of 4,428 reported COVID-19 cases  in the Philippines, 247 deaths, and 157 recoveries. —Erwin Colcol/LBG, GMA News