BAGUIO CITY– The contact tracing czar and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong urged fellow local executives to expedite contact tracing efforts amidthe continued rise in the number of cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Magalong stressed the need of being “proactive”.“Kapag pinabayaan po natin ang isang infected patient, every second makaka-infect siya,” he said.
Magalong was recently appointed to the National Task Force Against COVID-19 as the country’s contact tracing czar following Baguio City’s effective strategies to swiftly identify and isolate confirmed cases of the disease.
While taking pride in his city’s average benchmark of 37 identified contacts per positive case within the first 48 hours, the mayor lamented that only two percent of LGUs in the country have sufficient contact tracing systems that can achieve its target.
Magalong urged mayors from low-risk cities and towns to start tracing as soon as cases are reported. They should not let the number of cases to reach high before addressing it.
He also advised mayors in areas with low incidents of COVID-19 to intensify testing efforts to determine the real COVID-19 situation in their localities. According to the mayor, testing in these areas may be expanded to high-risk groups such as health workers, essential frontliners, uniformed personnel, and social workers.