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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 372-373

Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic: Strengthening the component of contact tracing for the containment of infection


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission24-May-2020
Date of Decision06-Jul-2020
Date of Acceptance09-Jul-2020
Date of Web Publication15-Oct-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpaet - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_125_20

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  Abstract 


The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which was initially reported in the form of a cluster of pneumonia cases in the Wuhan city of China has raised serious concerns about the outbreak readiness across the world, including in the developed nations with the best quality health care delivery system. The initial facts depict that the primary mode of disease transmission is airborne, there is an indispensable need to revisit the infection control practices. Apart from the various strategies which have been proposed to strengthen the level of preparedness of a nation and also to contain the infection, contact tracing is an essential and integral component. The contacts should be advised to monitor their health for at least a period of 14 days after the last day of potential contact. In conclusion, contact tracing is a standard infection control strategy and is an important aspect in the interruption of the disease transmission in the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The need of the hour is to strengthen the same to ensure early detection of the COVID-19 suspects and interrupt the transmission of the disease.

Keywords: COVID-19 outbreak, Public Health Emergency of International Concern, Contact tracing, World Health Organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic: Strengthening the component of contact tracing for the containment of infection. Int J Health Allied Sci 2020;9:372-3

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic: Strengthening the component of contact tracing for the containment of infection. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 30];9:372-3. Available from: https://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2020/9/4/372/298109




  Introduction Top


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which was initially reported in the form of a cluster of pneumonia cases in the Wuhan city of China, has raised serious concerns about the outbreak readiness across the world, including in the developed nations with the best-quality health-care delivery system.[1] This is because of the sudden hike in the number of cases, the propensity of the disease to spread to different parts of the world, and the unknown nature of the novel viral infection.[1] The available facts about the disease present an alarming picture, with a total of 5,103,006 cases and 333,401 deaths being reported across the 216 affected nations and territories.[1]

The American region has been the most affected accounting for 44.7% of the global caseload.[1] The World Health Organization has performed the risk assessment, and they have concluded that the overall risk for global transmission of the disease has been very high and thus we have to improve our level of preparedness.[1],[2] The initial facts depict that the primary mode of disease transmission is via droplet and close contact, and this calls for an indispensable need to strengthen the infection control practices.[2],[3]

Contact tracing in COVID-19

Apart from the various strategies which have been proposed to strengthen the level of preparedness of a nation and also to contain the infection, contact tracing is an essential and integral component.[2],[3] A contact is a person who satisfies any of the following criteria: health-care personnel (involved in direct care of confirmed patients or visiting/staying with the patient in close proximity), workplace colleague of a newly diagnosed patient, co-traveler with the patient via any means, or those who are living in the same household of a diagnosed patient within the last 2 weeks after the initiation of symptoms.[3],[4]

Suggested recommendations

These contacts should be advised to monitor their health for at least a period of 14 days after the last day of potential contact. In general, the standard protocol has been to isolate and monitor the potential contacts of the disease and ensure that the onward transmission of the infection is interrupted.[3],[4],[5] All standard respiratory hygiene practices, including standard cough etiquette, hand washing, and appropriate disposal of the contaminated materials should be practiced.[2] In addition, these contacts should be informed about the health-care facility where they should seek care if they become symptomatic and the need to avoid public transport as there is a potential risk of further transmission of the disease.[4],[5] Moreover, it is the need of the hour to involve the outreach health-care workers and also create awareness about the disease (do's, don'ts, and myths) so that the overall infection control is enhanced.[3],[4],[5]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, contact tracing is a standard infection control strategy and is an important aspect in the interruption of the disease transmission in the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The need of the hour is to strengthen the same to ensure early detection of the COVID-19 suspects and interrupt the transmission of the disease.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 124; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200523-covid-19-sitrep-124.pdf?sfvrsn=9626d639_2. [Last accessed on 2020 May 24].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Baraniuk C. Covid-19 contact tracing: a briefing. BMJ 2020;369:M1859.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-20.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Salathé M, Althaus CL, Neher R, Stringhini S, Hodcroft E, Fellay J, et al. COVID-19 epidemic in Switzerland: On the importance of testing, contact tracing and isolation. Swiss Med Wkly 2020;150:w20225.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
World Health Organization. Home Care for Patients with Suspected Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) Infection Presenting with Mild Symptoms and Management of Contacts-Interim Guidance. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-3.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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