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DOH exec: 40% to 80% incomplete forms on COVID-19 patients hamper contact tracing

Around 40% to 80% of the case investigation forms on COVID-19 patients are incomplete which delays the government’s contact tracing efforts, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday.

Vergeire made the disclosure in response to Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte’s call on the Health Department to help them trace the location of 8,000 COVID-19 patients in Quezon City based on DOH records which did not state where these patients are residing.

“Most of the field reporting units, iyong hospitals, LGUs and laboratories, iyong case investigation form [on COVID-19 patients] kulang ng address or contact details are missing. 80% do not have contact details while 40% do not have the name of the barangay,” Vergeire told ANC in an interview.

“That is why we are calling on our local government units and other reporting units to get complete information so we can immediately initiate the contact tracing that has to be done,” Vergeire added.

The government has 60,000 contact tracers so far, but it is expected to increase with the looming passage of Bayanihan 2 law which provides P5 billion funding for contact tracers.

Vergeire, however, assured the public that the Health Department has met with Belmonte and has implemented measures in place to address her concern.

“We had met with Mayor Joy and we have created a team to focus on contact tracing in Quezon City,” Vergeire added.

The Philippines has recorded 189,601 COVID-19 cases so far. Of this number, 131,367 recovered while 2,998 died.

The number of active cases is at 55,236. — RSJ, GMA News