Duterte-Carpio: contact tracing no longer mandatory according to IATF

Photo by Mark Perandos/SunStar File

DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said Monday, March 7 that compliance with digital contact tracing implemented at various facilities is now voluntary and not required under the direction of the Inter-Agency Task Force on emerging infectious diseases (IATF-EMD).

“Dili na compulsory under IATF nato ang contact tracing (Under IATF, contact tracing is not compulsory), so it is voluntary. We are not required to complete health declaration forms and voluntary digital contact tracing (is voluntary),” Duterte-Carpio said in a radio interview.

Earlier this year, the Department of Health (DOH) expressed support for the policy change on contact tracing, saying the focus should be on “high impact” activities such as vaccination campaigns.

“When there is widespread community transmission and it is sustained, contact tracing is impractical,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said on January 13, 2022.

Meanwhile, Duterte-Carpio has previously said the city government plans to push for the lifting of some Covid-19 restrictions to speed up the continued reopening of the city’s economy.

“This is not the case with the IATF resolution suspending local government implementation of Covid-19 restrictions, which is impossible in the direction of the resolution (IATF resolution states that local governments can suspend Covid-19 restrictions),” the mayor said. said on February 28.

Since the city was placed on Alert Level 1 from March 1, restrictions limiting public movement have been lifted and the full capacity of public utility vehicles, restaurants and other similar establishments in the city has been lifted. been authorized.

“We want everyone to open, and we want everyone to be in full operation, except that we will not lift the mandatory wearing of masks and the important distancing,” said Duterte-Carpio, stressing that the use of face masks and social distancing practice will remain.

The mayor added that the executive order suspending more Covid-19 restrictions will soon follow, especially since Davao City has been placed under the least restrictive Level 1 alert classification since March 1.