By Darwin Pesco/Manila Times
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is targeting to hire additional contact tracers at the end of the month, said DILG spokesman and undersecretary Jonathan Malaya.
Malaya added there were about 50,000 contact tracing volunteers nationwide.
“The DILG targets to hire before the end of the month already because we need contact tracers,” said Malaya at the Laging Handa press briefing.
As the lead agency for contact tracing, the DILG intends to double the current number of contact tracing teams to curb the surge of Covid-19 cases.
To hire more contact tracers, particularly those who are graduates from the allied medical fields, criminology and other similar courses, the DILG awaits the release of funds from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
While the DILG waits for the DBM disbursement, Malaya said those interested in applying may fill up and submit personal data sheets online to fast-track the onboarding process.
Meanwhile, a total of 600 coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients in the country are registered in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Solidarity Trial for drugs, the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) said.
In a video aired over DoST’s Facebook page, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Pe?a said that the patients came from 22 active sites across the Philippines.
Dela Pena said that two drugs are being eyed as possible treatment for Covid-19 under WHO’s Solidarity Trial: Remdesivir, and Ritonavir-lopinavir with Interferon Beta.
The trials used to include in its tests the anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine and Ritonavir-Lopinavir but it was recently removed from the roster due to safety issues and effectivity.
Dela Pena also disclosed that the Philippines ranked fifth worldwide in terms of number of Covid-19 patients enrolled in WHO Solidarity Trial.
He added that Canada and India has expressed interest to collaborate with the Philippines for Covid-19 vaccine development.
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