Baguio Steps Up: Mayor + Team Will Go To Cebu City To Train Contact Tracers
The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined what Bayanihan and "kopyahan" means for Filipinos. The most important thing, as many netizens point out, is that LGUs and civilians work together and share best practices in preventing the further spread of the coronavirus and its socio-economic consequences from worsening.
It's great to learn then that Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong and a five-man team of police and trained contact tracers will be flying to Cebu City on July 8, 2020, to conduct a contact tracing training course at the request of Central Visayas police chief Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro.
"Actually, we requested the help of my former boss and he is very much willing to train our people on the contact tracing. It will be based primarily on the cognitive interviewing techniques which most of our policemen are trained with," Ferro said at a press briefing. (Prior to becoming mayor of Baguio, Magalong was the director of the Philippine National Police - Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.)
This isn't the first time Baguio offered their assistance to other LGUs, as they've already provided similar courses in neighboring provinces.
COVID-19 in Cebu City
On June 30, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Cebu City's enhanced community quarantine (currently the strictest level) will be extended to July 15 from the initial June 30 announcement. This comes as the COVID-19 "hotspot" sees hospital occupancy and facilities reach a crtical level. According to the Cebu city mayor, factors contributing to the outbreak include "illegal settlements where physical distancing is hard to enforce, and delays in the release of COVID-19 test results which used to take 2 to 3 weeks." (via ABS-CBN News)
On July 2, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella reported that 480 contract tracers have been deployed and divided into groups of five, with each team dedicated to operate in one of their 80 barangays. As of July 3, the city has a total of 2,562 active cases.
Meanwhile, Baguio City, with the help of the local police unit's cognitive interviewing skills and contact tracing tech, has been able to arrest the rise in cases and now currently has three active cases.
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