The City Government of Davao has reduced staffing and closed some facilities in the city’s COVID-19 management and response over the past three years due to decreasing cases, low hospitalization rates, and budget constraints.
As of 8 a.m., January 3, 2023, Davao City logged 94 cases for the past 14 days to keep its low positivity rate.
Davao City COVID-19 Task Force spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser said it was necessary to let go of some contact tracers and suspend operations of isolation facilities. However, they will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases, including the effect of super spreader events during the recent holidays.
She said from 867 contact tracers, the city retained less than 60 and are deployed to the city’s 18 district health centers.
A district with less than 100,000 residents will have one contact tracer, two with 100,000 or more residents, three with 150,000 or more residents, and four with 200,000 or more residents.
“The COVID-19 Cluster Clinics are closed, but if there is a need to open those facilities, if there is a need for strategies to be implemented in case of a surge, the CHO, LGU, and Davao City COVID-19 Task Force are ready for it. It’s futile, di pa magamit karon kay gamay pa ang cases.
(The COVID-19 Cluster Clinics are closed, but if there is a need to open those facilities or if there is a need for strategies to be implemented in case of a surge, the CHO, LGU, and the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force are ready for it. It’s futile; it can’t be used now because there are still few cases),” Schlosser said during Wednesday’s COVID-19 Alert program of 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio, January 4. She said it would deplete the city government’s funds to keep paying for people and the facilities even without the need for them.
She said some district health offices have barangay quarantine facilities, and the tent city located at the Davao International Airport (Francisco Bangoy International Airport) will remain operational.
The city health official said home isolation is also allowed for those who meet the requirements.
Schlosser said the number of retained workforces, personnel, or job orders was necessary.
She thanked the contact tracers for doing an excellent job in the past three years, saying: “All of you really worked hard kay grabe gyud ang demand and requirement sa COVID-19 response. Ang ilang hard work, ang mga dawat nilang mga insulto sa mga tawo they just have to accept it. Lisod ang job order, maski dili full ang benefits, they gave their heart and soul in sa ilang trabaho (All of you really worked hard because the demand and requirement of the COVID-19 response are really tough. They have to accept their hard work and the insults they receive from people. Being a job order is difficult, even if the benefits are not full, they gave their heart and soul in their work).”
Schlosser also said combating COVID-19 would have been difficult without the contact tracers.
“I have so much respect and love sa mga serbisyo na gihatag nila (I have so much respect and love for the services they provided),” she added. CIO