To combat the current COVID-19 surge, the Quezon City Government has hired additional contact tracers.

The city government, under the emergency employment program of the Public Emergency and Services Office (PESO) employed 350 contact tracers who were previously part of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) contact tracers program.

“The additional contact tracers were already part of our contact tracing army until December 31 of last year under contract with the DILG. But since we still need their services, especially during this surge, we hired them under our emergency employment program so as to continue the important task of contact tracing among many other responsibilities borne out of the rapid spread of Covid-19,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

Aside from the additional hires, 360 contact tracers from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) got renewed for an additional 30 days from January 17 to February 19.

Apart from DOLE, the city also has a partnership with USAID-RTI and the Philippine National Police.

QC Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) Head Dr. Rolando Cruz said that the city government currently has more than 1000 contact tracers who now do additional tasks such as community case monitoring, data collecting and encoding, validating reported cases, assisting in vaccination and monitoring the implementation of minimum public health standards.

“Contact tracing is one of the key strategies that the city government has employed since the Covid 19 outbreak in order to contain the spread of cases. We were able to reach the ideal ratio of individuals traced per positive patient then, and we are still doing our best to reach the ideal numbers now despite the volume of cases,” Dr. Cruz said.