Local government must portray the "real situation" in their jurisdictions through proper contact tracing and testing, the country's testing czar said Saturday, as he rued how some officials were managing case numbers to gain political leverage in next year's elections.
Inconsistency in tracing and testing is tantamount to "lying," said Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
"Simple logic: no testing, low contact-tracing, no COVID-19. No testing, low contact-tracing, low cases," Magalong told a public briefing.
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"With this kind of attitude and mindset, are we really protecting the right situation in our country? Especially now, we have the election, tendency ng LGUs, It's a political move on their part to show they are managing well," he said.
"Binobola lang natin sarili natin. We are lying to the public," he said.
Addressing Health Sec. Francisco Duque, who was also at the briefing, Magalong said: "Please, emphasize to our LGUs, they have to really bring out the real sitation in their area by properly doing their contact-tracing and at the same time be consistent with their testing."
Magalong had been pushing for up to 37 contacts traced per COVID-19 patient and that tracing efforts should be expanded up to the fourth generation contact.
Local officials can seek help from the police who have the "investigative skill" that epidemiologists don't, he said.
"It's just a matter of the LGU using them or utilizing them. Maraming LGU na nirereject sila. At times even if they take the initiative to coordinate with local government units," he said.