One of the key tools for suppressing transmission in all communities is contact tracing. No country can get control of its epidemic, if it doesn’t know where the virus is.
Lockdown measures can help to reduce transmission, but they cannot completely stop it. Contact tracing is essential for finding and isolating cases and identifying and quarantining their contacts.
Mobile applications can support contact tracing, but nothing replaces boots on the ground – trained workers going door to door to find cases and contacts and break the chains of transmission. Contact tracing is essential for every country in every situation. It can prevent individual cases from becoming clusters and clusters, turning into community transmission. Even countries with community transmission can make progress by breaking down their epidemics into manageable parts.
This is all the more critical as countries are opening up. Reacting rapidly to new cases and clusters will allow countries to continue on the road to economic recovery, while keeping the virus at bay.
Contact tracing has long been the bedrock of outbreak response from smallpox to polio to ebola, and Covid-19.