Quezon City has intensified its contact tracing efforts following the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) deployment of an additional 1,300 tracers in the city in response to the spike of COVID-19 cases.

With the additional contact tracers, the city now has over 2,600 contact tracers who will be interviewing COVID-19 cases to gather data on their close contacts, travel history, and conduct health assessments.

A total of 1,347 contact tracers hired through DOLE’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/ Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program participated in the orientation by the QC Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) on Monday.

In her speech, Mayor Joy Belmonte expressed her gratitude to DOLE for deploying more contact tracers in the city.

“We are very thankful to the Department of Labor and Employment for deploying more contact tracers. Kailangang-kailangan natin ito dahil tayo ang pinakamalaking lungsod sa National Capital Region,” Mayor Belmonte said.

“Contact tracers ang pinakasusi para mapigilan na natin itong pagkalat pa ng virus sa ating mga komunidad. Balewala ang lockdown kung hindi mabilis at maagap ang pagkilos ng contact tracing army ng lungsod,” she explained.

Mayor Belmonte also cited that when the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) deployed 1,300 contact tracers last year, QC became one of the best performing cities in the region in terms of its contact tracing capabilities.

The city’s contact tracing ratio went up to 1:30 where a contact tracer is able to identify up to 30 close contacts per COVID-19 positive.

Belmonte also assured the contact tracers that they have nothing to be afraid of especially in performing their duties as they will be protected by law, particularly by Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.

“Huwag kayong matakot na gawin ang inyong tungkulin dahil ginagawa niyo lamang ito nang naaayon sa batas. We also guarantee you that all your needs will be taken cared of by the city,” Mayor Belmonte added.