GENEVA, July 20, 2020: World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the so-called lockdown measures cannot completely help stop COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we have said many times, so-called lockdown measures can help to reduce transmission, but they cannot completely stop it,” said WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Contact tracing is essential for finding and isolating cases and identifying and quarantining their contacts,” Dr Tedors said addressing a virtual global media conference.
He pointed out that 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.
No country can get control of its epidemic if it doesn’t know where the virus is, he said and stressed that contact tracing is essential for every country, in every situation. It can prevent individual cases from becoming clusters, and clusters turning into community transmission.
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.
One of the lessons from the recent Ebola outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, which was declared over last month, is that contact tracing can be done even in the most difficult circumstances, with security problems, Dr Tedros added.