Lacson backs DOF's proposal to hire more contact tracers amid COVID-19 pandemicBy DONA MAGSINO, GMA News
Senator Panfilo Lacson expressed support Tuesday on the proposal of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to hire more contact tracers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Contact tracing is a key first step in addressing the COVID-19 threat. It should provide the baseline data or reference on who to test. Without it, our mass testing will be like shooting at the moon or running around like headless chickens," Lacson said in a statement.
He described Dominguez as "one of the few sensible souls" in President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet as he pointed out that the suggestion would also solve the job displacement problem amid the health crisis.
In a televised briefing aired earlier in the day, Dominguez said beefing up the contact tracing work force would not only help boost the capacity of the country's health system to detect COVID-19 but would also provide employment to those who temporarily lost their jobs due to quarantine protocols.
"Kung maipapatupad ang mungkahing ito nang maayos, maaari nating lutasin agad ang dalawang problema," Lacson said.
The senator added that the ball is now in the hands of the Department of Health to let the proposal materialize.
In February, during the onset of the outbreak in the country, the slow contract tracing of individuals who boarded the same plane used by the Chinese couple from Wuhan, China—the first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines—was tackled in a Senate probe.
Local carriers Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines (PAL) denied the allegation saying they provided the full flight manifest including the contact details of the passengers.
As of May 11, the Philippines recorded a total of 11,086 COVID-19 cases with 1,999 recoveries and 726 deaths.
Over 158,000 individuals across the country have so far undergone the COVID-19 test.—AOL, GMA News