Baguio City’s E-system of COVID-19 tracking explained

May 7, 2020 – City Mayor’s Office Executive Asst. V and Management Information and Technical Division overseer Philip Puzon explained the rudiments of the city’s electronic system of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) tracking or the EndCov-19 online system.

In a walk-through with the local media, Puzon said it is a combination of systems which have the following functions:

*Captures and presents all types of geographical data, overlays affected areas and visualizes data to reveal patterns and trends of the confirmed cases and its possible spread of infection; 

*Provides different views on how one patient could infect or transfer the virus to others by looking into their daily activities; and shows gaps and creates opportunities to properly track down close contacts of the patient through the timeline.

The COVID tracker can be accessed at endcov19.baguio.gov.ph.

City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit Head Dr. Donnabel Panes said the system guides them in determining the possible source of infection and who might have been infected.

It helps determine contacts the patients might have infected and therefore who will be subjected to tests and to quarantine or medical interventions.

In the absence of tests, this is indispensable as contacts are immediately identified and those with symptoms are immediately isolated and infection is prevented even without the benefit of testing, Panes said.

City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said the city has 16 contact tracing teams composed of City Health Services Office staff, members of the Barangay Health Emergency Teams and police investigators who supplement with their cognitive interviewing skills in tracking down contacts of the new patients.

Apart from setting up of the e-system and the beefing up of the teams with police investigative skills, Mayor Benjamin Magalong also adopted unconventional approaches to contact tracing like the conduct of tracking activities before laboratory confirmation of cases and disclosure of identities of the patients. – Aileen P. Refuerzo