SWS: Filipino willingness to join COVID-19 contact-tracing 'extremely high'

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 30 2020 04:16 PM

A vendor at Pritil Public Market gets a free swab test amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tondo, Manila, Oct. 8, 2020. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

MANILA — Filipinos have shown an "extremely high" willingness to comply with efforts to trace those who had close contact with coronavirus patients, a key point in the government's pandemic response, according to a survey released Friday. 

Of 1,249 adults polled by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) from Sept. 17 to 20, 97 percent said they would self-quarantine if they came in contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19. 

Around 96 percent said they would list all their contacts if they caught the respiratory disease, 93 percent would give access to their cell phone location data, and 87 percent would volunteer for weekly testing to track the progression of the virus, said the SWS. 

"Willingness to comply with the 4 COVID-19 contact tracing efforts is extremely high in all areas," the pollster said in a statement. 

This is higher than the willingness to cooperate in contact tracing efforts in the US, currently the country with the highest number of infections. 

A survey of Americans by Axios/Ipsos last May found that 84 percent were likely to self-quarantine if they came in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. 

About 76 percent are likely to give a list of all the people they’ve come in contact with, 59 percent are likely to volunteer for weekly testing, and 56 percent are likely to give access to cell phone location. 

"This shows that, although majorities of Americans say they are willing to cooperate, their proportions are not as high as those of Filipinos," SWS said.

The United States broke its single-day record for new coronavirus infections on Thursday, reporting over 91,000 new cases, as hospitalizations also hit new highs in many states, according to a Reuters tally. 

Over 229,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the US, the world's highest death toll.

The Philippines on Friday recorded 2,006 new coronavirus infections and 38 more deaths. In a bulletin, the agency said total confirmed infections has risen to 378,933 while deaths have reached 7,185.

- With a report from Reuters