MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday reiterated her call for a centralized contact tracing database and free testing amid the recent rapid increase of COVID-19 cases.
During the BISErbisyong LENI program on DZXL, Robredo lamented that contact tracing and testing should not be an issue anymore as the country has been dealing with the pandemic for almost two years already.
“Dalawang taon na ‘yung COVID, dapat sana by this time, iba na ‘yung mga problema natin. Dapat sana by this time, hindi na natin problema ‘yung testing. Dapat by this time, hindi na natin problema ‘yung bakuna. Dapat by this time, hindi na natin problema ‘yung contact tracing, ‘yung mga isolation centers kasi enough time to prepare tayo,” she said.
(We’re two years into the COVID pandemic. this time, our problems should have been different. this time, testing, vaccines, contact tracing, and isolation centers should not be a problem anymore.)
She then noted again that contact tracing would be effective if there is a centralized application.
“Kung naalala mo, 2020 pa, matagal na nating inuulit-ulit ‘yung kahalagahan na mayroong isang central contact tracing app para effective,” she recalled.
(If you remember in 2020, we repeatedly raised the need for one central contact tracing app for it to be effective.)
“Kung mayroon sanang isang central na app na ‘yung database para sa buong bansa, kahit mobile ‘yung mga tao, hindi siya nali-limit ng mas lokal na contact tracing app. Sinasabi natin dati, dapat sana maayos, nama-migrate dito sa isang central contact tracing app ‘yung lahat ng mga existing,” she added.
(If there would be a central app where a database for the whole country is contained, even if people were mobile, the contact tracing would not be limited locally. What we’re saying before is there should be a central contact tracing app where all existing data would migrate to.)
The vice president pointed out that there is no excuse why contact tracing is not enhanced.
“Kung nung umpisa kasi na medyo magulo pa ‘yung contact tracing, understandable. Pero two years na tayo, two years na tayo ngayong March. Parang wala na ding excuse na hindi pa din natin naaayos until now,” she explained.
(If at the start the contact tracing was unorganized, it was understandable. But, it is already two years this March. There is no excuse if we have not fixed it until now.)
Robredo likewise renewed her call for free mass testing after funds were not allocated for in the P5.024 trillion 2022 national budget.
“Two years na, dapat napaghandaan na natin ito,” she said, noting that there are many asymptomatic COVID-19 cases.
(It’s been two years already, we should have been prepared for this.)
“Sobrang halaga ng testing kasi ito ‘yung magiging basis kung kailangan mo mag-quarantine, kailangan mong mag-isolate,” she continued.
(Testing is important because this would be the basis if we need to quarantine or isolate.)
On January 8, the country logged 26,458 new COVID-19 infections, raising the overall case count to 2,936,875. Active cases stand at 102,017.
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