By Liza Agoot
THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) has completed the training of the 571 contact tracers who were hired in Baguio City and in the six provinces of the region.
“They are already deployed,” DILG-CAR Regional Director Marlo Iringan said on Friday.
Iringan said face-to-face and virtual teleconferences to train the newly hired contact tracers were completed on October 1 and 2.
“It (contact-tracing) is part of the government’s campaign against the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19),” he said.
Out of the 571 contact tracers hired in the Cordillera, 176 were trained face-to-face to augment the existing 700-man contact tracing team here, while the 395 were trained via virtual teleconference.
Report shows that Benguet province was allotted 119 contact tracers; 90 in Abra; 34 in Apayao,; 50 in Ifugao; 60 in Kalinga; and 42 in Mountain Province.
The training of the contact-tracers, all graduates of medical or allied courses, criminology, and Information Technology, had as topics the overview of emergency health responses, elements and associated risks of Covid-19, analyzing contact-tracing tools and processes, and cognitive interviewing techniques.
He said the new hires will be joining contact-tracing teams deployed in different local government units (LGUs) throughout the region.
The director said the existing contact-tracing teams are composite units led by the municipal or city health officers with members from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs), and volunteers from civil society organizations.
A contact-tracer conducts interviews, profiling, and performs the initial public health risk assessment of Covid-19 cases and their identified close contacts. They also refer the close contacts to quarantine facilities.
The DILG is the lead agency in contact-tracing pursuant to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 25, which directed the national government and LGUs to develop the necessary operational plans in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Under the Bayanihan II, the DILG was allocated funds for the hiring of some 50,000 contact tracers who will be deployed on contract basis to the different local government units. (PNA)