Contact tracing remains the Department of Health’s weak point in its efforts against COVID-19, Sen. Panfilo Lacson lamented Sunday.
Lacson stressed the importance of contact tracing in assessing and eventually containing the COVID-19 threat.
“Hanggang ngayon wala tayong effective contact tracing. Ni hindi masabi ng DOH kung ilan ang Suspect, Probable at Confirmed. Para yan ang base number natin kasi yan ang target for testing,” he said in an interview on DZBB and GMA News TV.
Up to now, he said the DOH has not indicated how many are confirmed, probable and suspect cases. Instead, it reports how many have tested positive, died, and recovered.
This lack of information may lead to an unintentionally “misleading” report, he said.
“Hindi intentional ang pag-mislead. Pero talagang misled tayo into believing nasa 7,000 pa lang tayo na nag-positive. I don’t think so. Ang numero more, more, more than that,” he said.
Lacson said the abysmal contact tracing – 17% in the case of a couple from China who arrived in the Philippines earlier this year – had prompted senators to sign a resolution seeking the resignation of DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III.
Duque was retained in his post but has promised to address the issues surrounding his leadership of the DOH.
Lacson said the Philippines could take a cue from Taiwan, which has a much better contact tracing system.
In that instance, he said Taiwanese authorities managed to do contact tracing for a group of sailors and managed to contact and quarantine at least 400 people who the sailors came in contact with.