Covid-19: WHO insists on contact tracing to control the virus


The World Health Organization (WHO) has reiterated the importance of finding people who have been in contact with individuals infected with the new coronavirus to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the Organization’s Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, contact tracing applications alone cannot be enough to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, thus urging countries to take all necessary health precautions, with a special emphasis on contact tracing, to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“Mobile (contact tracing) applications can help with contact tracing, but nothing replaces resources and a presence in the field,” Tedros said at a virtual press conference from Geneva.

According to the head of WHO, in addition to these contact tracing apps, you also need “workers trained to go door to door” in order to find cases and contacts, and thus “break the chains of transmission”.

But in this battle with disease, contact tracing isn’t the only tool. “It has to be part of a complete package. But it is one of the most important, ”added Dr Tedros. WHO also recalls that the search for contacts has long been the basis of the response to epidemics, from smallpox to polio, including the Ebola virus and Covid-19.

“As we have said many times, so-called + containment” measures can help reduce the transmission of Covid-19, but they cannot stop it completely, “added the director general of the WHO, noting that “contact tracing is essential to find and isolate cases and to identify and quarantine their contacts”.

“Responding quickly to new cases and case clusters will allow countries to continue on the path of economic recovery, while keeping the virus at bay,” said Dr. Tedros. “It is important to list and map contacts,” said Dr. Ibrahima Soce Fall, WHO Deputy Director in charge of emergency response, insisting on daily contact monitoring.

In this regard, WHO notes that one of the lessons learned from the recent Ebola outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which was declared last month, is that “the search for contacts can be made even in the most difficult circumstances ”.

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