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Countries Complaining About Contact Tracing for Coronavirus Containing Strategy are ‘Lame’

A brand is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Orgnaisation (WHO). (Reuter)

In current months, international locations with massive outbreaks of COVID-19, together with Britain and the US, have mentioned there are just too many contacts to hint for an efficient system to be put into place.

  • Associated Press London
  • Last Updated: June 29, 2020, 11:51 PM IST

The head of the World Health Organisation on Monday dismissed complaints from international locations complaining that contact tracing is just too troublesome to implement as a management technique for the coronavirus pandemic as “lame”.

The UN well being company has repeatedly suggested international locations that shutting down their COVID-19 outbreaks requires having a robust contact-tracing programme in place, a labour-intensive technique of monitoring down contacts of individuals with coronavirus to make sure these in danger isolate themselves.

In current months, international locations with massive outbreaks of COVID-19, together with Britain and the US, have mentioned there are just too many contacts to hint for an efficient system to be put into place.

Britain had vowed to have a “world-class” contact tracing system in place earlier this month. But the UK in the end ditched the digital app it developed for that objective and politicians have acknowledged this system shouldn’t be but operating at full power regardless of recruiting 1000’s of employees.

In current weeks, British well being officers have mentioned their contact tracers are failing to achieve about one quarter of individuals with the virus — leaving 1000’s of individuals free to go on COVID-19.

At a media briefing on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus pointed to his emergencies director Dr Michael Ryan for example of somebody prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to conduct contact tracing, citing Ryan’s work — whereas carrying a bulletproof helmet and vest –during an Ebola outbreak in part of Congo the place armed teams had attacked and killed well being employees.

He believed he needed to do all the things to cease Ebola and to indicate that saving lives truly requires that degree of dedication, Tedros mentioned, including it wasn’t acceptable that some international locations claimed there have been too many contacts to hint and that the method itself was too troublesome.

He has beforehand lauded the contact tracing programmes adopted by international locations like South Korea, Singapore and China, which concerned groups of well being employees tracing tens of 1000’s of individuals and guaranteeing that these uncovered to the virus had been remoted.

Tedros mentioned that well-resourced international locations that are not preventing wars have little excuse for not finishing up good contact tracing.

“If contact tracing helps you to win the fight, you do it, even (when) risking your life,” he mentioned. “If any country is saying contact tracing is difficult, it is a lame excuse.”

He famous that Tuesday would mark six months since WHO was first knowledgeable by China of an uncommon cluster of pneumonia circumstances, the primary signal of coronavirus’ emergence. The illness has since sickened greater than 10 million folks and killed about 500,000.

WHO mentioned the pandemic was “accelerating”, significantly within the Americas. “The hard reality is that this is not even close to being over,” Tedros mentioned. “The worst is but to come back.


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