City Hall of Zamboanga (PNA file photo)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The city government will hire its own contact tracers to help sustain the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar made the announcement Friday as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Health (DOH) have yet to act on her request for the extension of the contract of service of the contact tracers.

The DILG has hired around 700 contact tracers, but their contract expired December 31, 2020.

Salazar wrote a letter dated December 22, 2020 to DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III and DILG Secretary Eduardo Año requesting to extend the service of the contact tracers until December this year citing that their services are crucial to the city’s sustained efforts to battle Covid-19.

Salazar said that the city government has allocated funds to hire its own contact tracers but at different rates as compared to the rates given by the DILG.

She said that one of this city’s challenges has always been the shortage of health workers as well as effective contact tracing.

Meanwhile, Dr. Dulce Amor Miravite, city health officer, has advised the residents to strictly comply with the health protocols put in place to ensure protection from the virus.

Miravite’s advice came amid reports that a new strain of the virus has been discovered and already infected people in other parts of the world and has been detected in Sabah, which is closed to the southern border of the Philippines.

“We have health protocols in place and with the new strain, our preventive measures will not really differ drastically,” Miravite said. (PNA)



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