Zamora says PHP3,000 incentive for COVID-19 patients speeded up San Juan’s contact tracing

<i>Photo: Mayor Francis Zamora / FB</i>
Photo: Mayor Francis Zamora / FB

A PHP3,000 (US$61) incentive for coronavirus-positive residents of San Juan City who agree to check into its quarantine facilities is speeding up contact tracing efforts, Mayor Francis Zamora claimed today.

“We released PHP3,000 of financial assistance to positive patients who decide to transfer to any of our four facilities. Basically this incentive is to make them transfer to quarantine facilities so that we can extract them from the community so that they will not infect others including their family members,” the mayor told news talk show Matter of Facts.

Read: Stay home? As COVID-19 spreads within families, Pinoys told to wear masks indoors

As a result, the mayor said contact tracing has become “very fast” because the incentivized patients are cooperative.

Zamora however, did not specify how many residents have been given the hand-outs since it was implemented last month. The incentive is meant to help out virus-stricken patients who had to stop working because they needed to isolate themselves. “A lot of them would worry about their families, [but] they will say ‘We don’t have jobs; we don’t have anything.’ So these are factors which oftentimes discourage them [from informing City Hall of their health status],” the mayor said.

Along with the cash dole-outs, San Juan’s COVID-19 quarantine facilities provide patients with free meals, medicine, WiFi, and 24-hour doctors at their disposal.

San Juan has an existing ordinance that penalizes those who do not declare that they or their family members are infected with the coronavirus.

The city currently has 383 active COVID-19 cases, according to the mayor.

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