What is contact tracing? How it can help to control Coronavirus outbreak?
Contact Tracing in News: Coronavirus pandemic has already claimed hundreds of lives in India. The government of India is trying all possible measures to stop its outbreak. However, new cases are still appearing everyday. Now, authorities in various parts of the country are relying on contact tracing to break the chain of COVID-19.
Contact tracing was first time used during Ebola virus cases in Africa. Singapore has also developed an app to identify and isolate coronavirus positive people. Contact tracing can make it easier for the authorities to locate positive cases.
What is Contact Tracing?
If a person is in the close contact with an infected person such as Coronavirus or Ebola virus then that person can also get infected. A monitoring process of closely watching these contacts is called contact tracing. It can be broken down into three basic steps:
Contact identification: The very first step is to identify someone who is confirmed patient of a virus. These contacts are identified by asking about the person’s activities since onset of illness. Contacts can be anyone who has been in contact with an infected person, family members, work colleagues, friends, or health care providers.
Contact listing: After that, we need to make a list of all those people who have contacted the infected person. It is important to know that efforts should be made to identify every listed contact and to inform them of their contact status. It means that the actions that will follow, and the importance of receiving early care if they develop symptoms. Contacts should also be provided with information about prevention of the disease. In some cases, quarantine or isolation is required for high risk contacts, either at home, or in hospital.
Contact follow-up: Regular follow-up should be conducted with all contacts to monitor for symptoms and test for signs of infection.
How can control Coronavirus pandemic?
According to the experts, contact tracing is useful when there are only a few cases. Now, there are so many cases and everyone needs to be checked. It is important to lockdown in many countries but in many countries where lockdown is still not happened, contact tracing can be helpful.