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What Is Contact Tracing, And How Does It Work With COVID-19?

During contact tracing the focus is on close contacts, or people who were within 6 feet of the COVID-19 infected person for at least 10 minutes or so

What Is Contact Tracing, And How Does It Work With COVID-19?
Highlights
  • People in direct contact of a COVID-19 patient are asked to self-isolate
  • Health officials prefer to call people for contact tracing
  • Ideally, most of a patient's contacts get alerted within a day

Washington: The goal of contact tracing is to alert people who may have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus, and prevent them from spreading it to others. Health experts say contact tracing is key to containing the virus and allowing places to reopen more safely. But the process isn’t easy. After a person tests positive for the virus, a contact tracer would get in touch with the person and attempt to determine where they have been and who they were around.

Also Read: Actual COVID-19 Death Toll Certainly Higher Than 1 Million: World Health Organisation

The focus is on close contacts or people who were within 6 feet of the infected person for at least 10 minutes or so. Those people would then be asked to self-isolate, monitor themselves for symptoms and get tested if needed.

For those showing symptoms, the tracing process would start all over again. Contact tracing is done in a variety of ways around the world. But a common issue is that determining who a person has been around can get harder as gatherings with friends and family resume, and as bars, restaurants and other places start reopening.

Health officials could also become overwhelmed with cases. In the US for example, local health departments may rely on automated texts to alert people who may have been exposed to an infected person. Health officials prefer to call people if possible because it can help build trust. But some people never return calls or texts. There’s also pressure to act quickly. Ideally, most of a person’s contacts would be alerted within a day.

Also Read: Unlock 5: Cinemas Permitted To Open From October 15; States Can Allow Gathering Of Over 100 People

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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