Baguio Health officials appeal for honesty in filling up contact tracing forms


City health officials appealed to residents from the different barangays to be honest in filling up information sheets, logbooks and other documents, provided by government offices, business establishments, among others, to ensure speedy contact tracing of the close contacts of confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Dr. Donnabel Tubera-Panes, head of the infectious disease cluster of the City Health Services Office (CHSO), pointed out that individuals should provide the correct information in the forms and documents they are being required to fill out as will provide the local and national health offices with the accurate data on COVID-19 cases and their close contacts.

She underscored that people should not put the blame to the local and national health offices on the discrepancies on the data of COVID-19 cases from the different parts of the country because it is actually the fault of the individuals on the ground who are providing the data on the forms being requested to be filled out.

The medical officer claimed that in the case of the city, contact tracers experienced having a difficult time in locating the whereabouts of some COVID-19 patients and their close contacts because the information provided in the forms and logbooks they filled out were not accurate.

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Panes cited among the wrong data provided by the people on the information sheets include erroneous addresses, incomplete contact numbers, unreadable writing of barangays, and the non-placement of their actual addresses that make it difficult to trace the confirmed case and their close contacts.

According to her, contact tracers encounter difficulties in ensuring the isolation of confirmed cases primarily because of the wrong information individuals have provided in their information sheets that is why they have to exhaust all possible means to locate them that is time consuming.

The CHSO official explained that by having the correct information, contact tracers will be able to easily locate the patients or their close contacts and immediately isolate them or subject them to quarantine to prevent the further transmission of the virus among their households and the people in their communities.

She added there were also instances when they called up the supposed patient and found out that the number in the information was not the true contact number of the confirmed case or his or her close contact that is why contract tracers had to be resourceful in locating them which required more of their time.

Panes called on residents that from now on, they must provide the correct information on the sheets and other documents they are being required to fill out to help ease the burden of the contact tracers in trying to locate their whereabouts when they will test positive for the deadly virus or as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case in the city.

Panes stated that contact tracers are humans that get tired in the course of discharging their assigned duties and responsibilities thus the cooperation of the public is required, especially in declaring the right information in the contact tracing documents.

By Dexter A. See

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