Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas found the idea of tapping “tsismosas” and "tsismosos" or rumormongers to help in COVID-19 contact tracing "ridiculous".
“Waay ko ya gapati nga kuhaon ta ang mga tsismosa kag tsismoso, let us come up sang mga serious nga sabat sa aton problema," Treñas said in a press conference yesterday, July 28.
"I find it difficult to understand how some people come up with ridiculous ideas, para sa akon out of this world,” he added.
The idea of seeking the help of rumormongers to locate COVID-19 patients and their close contacts was raised by Philippine National Police (PNP) Region 7 Director Police Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius.
"In Bulacan, they said the tsimosas were helping with the contact tracing, instead of just gossiping they could be helpful,” he said.
Contact tracing, according University of the Philippines (UP) researchers, is the “weakest link” in the Philippines’ response to COVID-19.
“We continue to reiterate the need for an efficient and effective contract tracing system to track those who could have been exposed to the infective individual,” said researchers Guido David, Ranjit Singh Rye, and Ma. Patricia Agbulos.
“To this end, the national and local government should consider hiring and training more personnel to do contact tracing. Where applicable, digital contact tracing apps should be used,” they added.IMT