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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal government will be hiring additional contact tracers the soonest to aggressively pursue the tracing of the close contacts of confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases to avoid further surge in the number of individuals that are infected with the deadly virus in the municipality.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda stated that some 16 contact tracers are expected to be hired by the local government as soon as the source of funds shall be determined by the local finance officers to augment the 28 contact tracers to help in speeding up the conduct of contact tracing activities following the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases in the municipality that started several weeks ago.
Aside from the 16 contact tracers that will be equitably distributed to each of the town’s 16 barangays, he added that the local government trained some 20 nurses and 5 reservists as volunteer contact tracers to fasttrack the conduct of contact tracing of confirmed COVID-19 cases to contain the further spread of the virus among households.
At present, active COVID-19 cases in the capital town have already exceeded 1,000 that have overwhelmed the local health care system. That is why efforts are being done to further increase the capacity of health facilities and isolation centers.
Mayor Salda admitted that private and public health facilities and isolation centers are have already reached their maximum capacity and there are increasing number of COVID-related deaths, thus, people must strictly adhere to the ongoing enforcement of the minimum public health standards as part of their contributions to contain the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases.
According to him, people need to cooperate with the implementation of the market schedule released by the municipal government to significantly restrict movements to avoid the further transmission of the virus.
The local chief executive disclosed that the local government is setting its sights on existing hotels, schools and other public structures to augment the health facilities and isolation centers in catering to the quarantine and isolation requirements of suspected and probable COVID-19 cases.
He claimed that representations had already been done with the concerned government agencies and the school officials for the use of their respective structures as temporary isolation centers for the confirmed COVID-19 cases and that the local government is simply preparing the required materials needed in converting the same into isolation centers that will be occupied by the patients who will test positive in the ongoing contact tracing and expanded testing.
Salda expressed hope that the situation will stabilize soon as the local government does not want the same to go out of control that might cause the collapse of the healthcare system which will be detrimental in the handling of the cases in the municipality. By HENT