Ilocos Norte to reinforce 'unified, integrated' contact tracing


Aug. 11, 2020 ...

The Provincial Contact Tracing Team conducted a seminar yesterday, August 10, at the Provincial Capitol Auditorium to effectively address the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Ilocos Norte through a more aggressive contact tracing operation.

According to Dr. Norman Rabago, Provincial Health Consultant, the spike of COVID-19 cases pressed the enhancement of existing contact tracing protocols in the province.

"We need to formulate a unified and integrated system. When we say 'unified and integrated,' we would like [the updated] protocol to be used by the entire province at the same time involve other agencies such as the Department of Health, Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and other hospitals, private sectors, the Bureau of Fire Protection, and others that want to volunteer to be part of our local contact tracing."

A highlight of the Contact Tracing Update and Seminar is the adoption of Baguio City's best contact tracing practices which involve cognitive interviewing strategy and computerized data collection and analysis to hasten the operation. 

"We also have to capacitate and maximize our Information Technology Department's abilities to help us with this endeavor. We want to be more logical, organized, unified, and more updated on our protocol," Dr. Rabago added.

Furthermore, the Ilocos Norte Department of the Interior and Local Government has approved the training and mobilization of Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams and barangay volunteers to be part of Local Contact Tracing Teams.

With these new strategies, it is expected that contact tracing in the province will be more centralized, systematic, and community-focused.

Moreover, Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc said that the province is "very serious" in tracking and containing the virus.

"We ask that the public also trust our doctors because some people are getting worried even if they are only secondary contact. They want to be tested. But there's a certain procedure that we have to follow. I hope that our people can understand our doctors who are doing their best to follow the procedures," he said. 

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, Ilocos Norte has a total of 31 confirmed cases, 19 of them are admitted, and 12 have recovered and discharged.