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14,000 more contact tracers eyed for Metro Manila
Abalos said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, during a meeting with Metro Manila mayors on Saturday, agreed to increase the number of contact tracers to beef up the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

14,000 more contact tracers eyed for Metro Manila

Emmanuel Tupas, Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - April 12, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The national government will hire 14,000 additional contact tracers for Metro Manila, which is grappling with a surge in COVID-19 cases, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos said yesterday.

Abalos said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, during a meeting with Metro Manila mayors on Saturday, agreed to increase the number of contact tracers to beef up the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

“This is worth P230 million that will be allotted to Metro Manila. This is for a period of three months,” he said in an interview over Teleradyo.

Abalos requested more manpower as the number of contact tracers in the capital region is only at 5,000, not enough to deal with the spike in COVID-19 cases.

With additional contact tracers and arrival of more vaccines in the coming months, Abalos is hopeful the spread of COVID-19 would be put under control.

Abalos said what is happening in the country is also being experienced by Western World nations such as Poland, Germany and Canada, which reimposed strict measures.

“Lockdown din so talaga we have to live with this,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), in a resolution issued on Saturday, approved the use of automatic contact tracing through a smart messaging system.

The measure, recommended by the National Economic and Development Authority, seeks to improve the use of StaySafe.PH, the government’s “official social distancing, COVID-19 health condition-reporting and contact tracing system.”

StaySafe.PH and the smart messaging system will be beta tested in Pasig, Antipolo, Mandaluyong and Valenzuela on May 1.

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