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Magalong frustrated by rise in COVID-19 cases, points to weak contact tracing

Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Thursday could not hide his dismay at the continued rise in COVID-19 cases and the weakness of contact tracing efforts in the country, according to Ian Cruz’s report on “24 Oras.”

The Philippines has reported a total of 147,526 cases with 70,387 recoveries and 2,426 fatalities.

“Sa pag iikot ko po, isa lang po ang nakita ko kung bakit nasa malungkot po tayong sitwasyon. I hate to say this… but you know, contact tracing is left under the banishment of our municipal health offices,” the tracing czar said.

Though Cavite has reported more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases, Magalong believes that the figure could be higher, saying the city can only trace four close contacts for each positive case.

Magalong said this was a low number as 37 contacts should be traced per positive case in an urban setting.

“That is an artificial figure. Ang missing niyo is around 1,600 every day. You’re looking at 1,600 everyday,” Magalong said.

“If this trend continues in 10 days, you have 16,000 with the positivity rate of 15 o sabihin na lang natin na 10 percent, you’re looking at 1,600 people roaming your street in the entire province, potentially infected,” he added.

Meanwhile, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla said that they can only “step up” their game.

“He knows better than me, so I don’t want to question him. The best we can do is step up our game and improve what we are doing,” Remulla said.

“Ang biggest problem kasi namin is the transition from Metro Manila to Cavite. Ayun ang pinaka malaking problema namin. Ang problema namin, our contact tracers will work in Cavite but half the contacts are in Manila,” he added. — Joahna Lei Casilao/BM, GMA News