Govt hires an additional 5,514 contact tracers to boost fight vs Covid

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An additional 5,514 contact tracers have been hired to boost the government’s efforts to track close contacts of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday night.

“We have hired an additional 5,514 contact tracers from October 3 to 7. We now have 136,937 contact tracers,” Lorenzana told President Rodrigo Duterte during his Talk to the People in Filipino.

Lorenzana, also chairperson of the National Task Force against Covid-19, said these contact tracers have managed to trace, access, and isolate 21,898 probable Covid-19 cases and 11,652 confirmed cases within 24 hours.

He added that around 86,228 close contacts have been traced and were found to be positive for Covid-19.

Reporting on the country’s Covid-19 healthcare response, Lorenzana said the government now has 150,919 Covid-19 dedicated beds distributed to 9,073 facilities being managed by local government units as of October 5.

“And from a 31 percent occupancy rate last week, it has gone down to 27 percent. The number of vacant beds is increasing,” he added in Filipino.

Lorenzana also reported that there are currently 41,729 hospital beds, 4,499 intensive care unit (ICU) beds, 20,975 isolation units and 15,353 ward beds, and 3,367 mechanical ventilators allotted to Covid-19 patients.

“Our healthcare utilization rate is going down, from the 68 percent reported from September 20 to 26, to the reported 64 percent from September 27 to October 1, this week it has gone down to 60 percent,” he added in Filipino.

Lorenzana also reported that 64 percent of patients under ICUs and 74 percent of intubated patients are unvaccinated.

“This means that the unvaccinated have larger chances of getting Covid-19,” he said in Filipino.

Lorenzana also reported that 9,795 out of the 10,226 emergency positions for health workers have been filled.

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