contact tracing

Aggressive contact tracing by health workers continues in Ilocos Norte amid the detection of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19. (Contributed photo)

MANILA, Philippines — The number of contact tracers working for the government’s COVID-19 response has decreased by about 20,000 following the end of their contracts, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed on Wednesday.

In a briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte aired early morning Wednesday, Lorenzana, who also sits as the chairman of the National Task Force against COVID-19, said there are now only 115,611 contact tracers left from the previous 136,937.

“‘Yung ating mga contact tracers ay medyo bumaba ang bilang dahil ‘yung mga kontrata ng 20,000 contract tracers ay natapos na,” Lorenzana said.

(The number of our contact tracers has decreased because the contracts of about 20,000 have ended.)

He did not specify whether the government has plans to renew the contracts or hire more contact tracers.

He added that over 20.8 million COVID-19 tests were conducted in the Philippines since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

As of Oct. 19, the Philippines has a total of 2.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 63,637 active cases, 2.6 million recoveries, and 40,972 deaths.

/MUF

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