BY GENALYN KABILING
President Duterte has asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to provide transportation assistance to the government’s contact tracers in the battle against the coronavirus outbreak.
The President urged the cops to “walk the extra mile” to ferry the personnel who must travel to places to track down close contacts of a coronavirus patient.
“Nandito man si (Interior and Local Government) Secretary (Eduardo) Año, magpahatid na lang kung anong — anong sakyan diyan sa pulis ‘yung area na ‘yan, doon siya sumakay. Doon sila sumakay. Ihatid sila ng pulis doon sa boundary. Beyond that, ibang pulis na naman ang magsasalo sa kanila para hanapin ‘yung tao,” Duterte said during his televised remarks Monday night.
“Because the police have the — the resources there pati ‘yung barangay captains na malaman nila kung saan ito nakatira. That would be the fastest way of doing the tracing.” he said.
The government recently announced plans to step up efforts to trace close contacts of coronavirus patients to limit the spread of the disease. The plan includes tracing 30 to 37 contacts and subject them to coronavirus tests.
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the country’s tracing czar, earlier expressed concern about the country’s limited contract tracing efforts, after finding out only around eight close contacts of a coronavirus patient are being traced. The former cop proposed that such tracing effort must be increased.
The Palace had said the policemen may be tapped to join the government’s pool of contact tracers.
In his remarks Monday, the President acknowledged that contact tracing must be “financed by the government.” (Genalyn Kabiling)