Last 15th of June 2020, the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) conducted an online in-depth training with volunteer trainers and data interpreters for the regional deployment of “Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler” (FASSSTER) and TanodCOVID. The said technologies aim to support the decision-making of our policy-makers from government agencies and local government units specifically on – predicting the peak of confirmed cases, peak date, case doubling time, and other data which will facilitate understanding of the spread of COVID-19; forecasting health system capacity requirements based on the projected peak; determining LGU’s epidemic risk level and appropriate strategy for COVID-19 response; and identifying hotspots or areas with increasing number of suspected/probable cases, through their citizens’ self-reports on COVID-19-related symptoms.
A total of 19 individuals volunteered for Caraga region comprising of DOST Scholars, experts from member-institutions of CHRDC, and personnel from DOST Caraga. The region, despite having one of the lowest cases, still remains vigilant to the pandemic and takes necessary actions according to the regulations set by the Regional Task Force (RTF) for COVID-19 One Caraga Shield (COCS). Incorporating the said technologies will help in formulating strategies and policies specific to the region’s COVID-19 situation.
FASSSTER and TanodCOVID are approved tools by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) which can be used by the RIATF/RTF and LGUs in planning their localized COVID-19 response. The project team of these technologies has since been conducting orientation and training sessions for RIATF/RTF and LGUs, with the assistance of DOST Regional Offices.