President Rodrigo Duterte has allocated funds to retain 15,000 government-hired contact tracers.

Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said on Friday that the contracts of the retained contact tracers started on Aug. 2.

They will keep their jobs until Dec. 31.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said about P1.7 billion were realigned to keep the contact tracers.

Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., a molecular biologist and member of the OCTA Research Team, earlier told the government that it should boost its contact tracing efforts to prevent the spread of the more infectious Delta Covid-19 variant.

The Philippines tallied 10,623 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, the largest single-day increase since April.

Some 450 cases of the Delta variant have already been reported.

The country has recorded 1,638,345 Covid-19 cases as of Aug. 6. John Ezekiel J. Hirro