Davao City to hire more workers to beef up contact-tracing and surveillance team

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 2 June) – The City Government of Davao plans to hire more frontline workers to beef up its contact-tracing and surveillance team as the local government anticipates a surge in the number of confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases following the extension of general community quarantine (GCQ).

“We need to add more people for our tracing and surveillance, so if there is a need to hire, we will hire,” she said during her interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5).

The mayor said the local government has already received reinforcement from Davao City Police Office (DCPO), which has deployed some of its members to augment the contact-tracing and surveillance team of the city.

She said the local government is expecting a spike in COVID-19 cases here this month and in July as more people are going out after long weeks of home quarantine while workers are returning to work, following the extension of the less restrictive GCQ until June 15.

“The doctor said let’s expect a surge because of GCQ in June and July, and of course, there will be a delay in the contact-tracing of people,” Duterte said.

She said the delay in contact-tracing might cause the cases to increase further since the infected individual could not be quarantined immediately, increasing the risk of transmitting the highly contagious disease to other people in the community.

As of June 1, the Department of Health-Davao reported a total of 348 cases: 300 in Davao City, 15 in Davao del Norte, 14 in Davao del Sur, 2 in Davao de Oro, 15 in Davao Oriental, and 2 in Davao Occidental.

Aside from Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City, the region has two more COVID-19 testing laboratories – Davao One World Diagnostic Center Inc. also based in Davao City and Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, Davao del Norte. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)