Disclosure of personal information regarding positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is now mandatory, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Sunday.
Nograles, spokesperson for the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said the body has adopted the policy of mandatory public disclosure of personal information regarding to positive cases of COVID-19 to strengthen the government’s contact-tracing efforts.
“Para matulungan ang contact-tracing efforts ng ating pamahalaan, mandatory o required na po ang paglalahad ng personal na information pagdating sa ating mga COVID-19 cases,” Nograles said, during a virtual press conference.
Nograles said the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) is now tasked to lead the contact-tracing efforts of the government.
“Ang OCD na ang mangunguna sa contact tracing efforts ng pamahalaan at sila ay inaatasang makipag-ugnayan sa DOH (Department of Health) para mag-sharing ng datos alinsunod sa Data Privacy Act.”
Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier encouraged the public who is positive for COVID-19 to declare voluntarily and publicly their status to alert those they have interacted with to take necessary measures against further spreading COVID-19.
“If public figures like Prince Charles, Boris Johnson, Tom Hanks, Christopher de Leon and several of our own legislators had voluntarily and publicly declared they are or were infected, maybe it is time for the man on the street –the ordinary Filipinos –to do the same in order to alert those who they had interacted with to take the necessary measures, so that the infection does not spread further,” he said.
However, Commissioner Raymund Liboro of the National Privacy Commission had argued that the whereabouts of a person who tested for COVID-19 is more important than the name of the patient itself.
The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday reported an increase of new positive cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Philippines, and the highest number of deaths in one day.
The Philippines reported so far its highest number of fatalities from COVID-19, with 50 new deaths, totaling 297.
The country also reported a total of 4,648 positive COVID-19 cases in the country, with 220 new positive cases, and 40 new recoveries, with a total number of recoveries to 197./Stacy Ang