How is contact tracing in the Philippines performed?
As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the world, the likelihood that we have come into contact with someone with the condition also increases.
When a person tests positive for COVID-19, there is a probability that those they have encountered could test positive, too.
This is why contact tracing should be done.
Contact tracing is the act of tracking down all the people a COVID-19 positive person has come into contact with. This is then followed, ideally, by COVID-19 testing or placing them under strict monitoring.
This includes close contacts, or people who are at a higher risk of getting the virus.
Contact tracing in the Philippines also includes casual contacts. These are people who someone with COVID-19 have had limited contact with.
Authorities typically do not require casual contacts to isolate themselves. Neither are they mandated to be confined to a hospital. However, they are expected to follow preventive measures.
Only those who are identified as close contacts will be involved in the process of contact tracing in the Philippines and the following processes of containment.
Contact tracing in the Philippines: A Step-by-Step Process
Once a person tests positive for COVid-19, the contact tracing team will immediately do “activity mapping,” which includes the following steps:
- The patient is then interviewed about their recent activities and travel history, starting from when symptoms were observed until the moment of diagnosis.
- The next step is contacting all the people identified as close contacts. This is not easy, since close contacts do not only mean the patient’s family and friends.
- The patient could have been on an international flight and close contacts may possibly be scattered all over the world.
- Looking at the above criteria, many people may qualify as a close contact.
- After tracing all close contacts, the team will interview them over the phone and require full disclosure so that the team can trace the other people the close contacts may have affected.
- The contacts will also be asked if they are experiencing any symptoms indicative of CoVid-19.
- Lastly, if the contacts have the symptoms, they will be mandated to go to the nearest hospital. They may be advised to remain under the supervision of medical experts. And be tested, if possible.
- Close contacts who do not exhibit any sign or symptom will just be requested to stay under home quarantine for two weeks.
Why is Contact Tracing in the Philippines Important?
COVID-19 only has the capacity to transfer from person to person through respiratory droplets. That means the virus can only be spread through touching an infected surface, coughing, sneezing, or even talking.
In a day, a simple conversation with one infected person could spread the virus among hundreds of people. These people, in turn, can infect hundreds more.
Contact tracing in the Philippines could prevent carriers from spreading COVID-19.
Tracking all the people who were close to COVID-19 patients and telling them their risk and the proper containment procedures, whether they’re symptomatic or not, is a vital step in slowing down the spread of the COVID-19.
Along with thorough hand washing, wearing face masks, and social distancing, contact tracing in the Philippines is one of the steps that can slow down the spread of COVID-19.
Lastly, strive to be open and honest with medical professionals at all times. Disclose your travel history. Let them know if you know anyone who has tested positive.
This will help them carry out contact tracing, which relies on knowing the whole story.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.