The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) dismissed apprehensions that the re-employment of only 15,000 contact tracers will weaken the Philippines’ contact tracing capacity, which the agency remains strong ten months since the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya said that the existing number of contact tracers (CTs) currently stands at 255,854 nationwide, which is more than sufficient for the country’s needs.
“We already have 29,611 contact tracing teams which is composed of 255,854 contact tracers nationwide. Even without the DILG hiring, we already have sufficient number of contact tracers,” he added.
He said that the DILG’s rehiring of 15,000 contract tracers only seeks to augment the current number of CTs to meet Department of Health (DOH) standards of 1:800 contact tracer to population ratio.
“With our number of CTs, we have exceeded DOH standard. Per the DOH, the ideal contact tracer to population ratio is 1:800 so to fully cover 108 million Filipinos, we actually need a total of 135,000 contact tracers only,” he said. SOVEREIGNPH