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Contact Tracing for COVID-19: Current Evidence, Options for Scale-up and an Assessment of Resources Needed (April 2020)

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Contact tracing is an effective public health measure for the control of COVID-19. The prompt identification and management of the contacts of COVID-19 cases makes it possible to rapidly identify secondary cases that may arise after transmission from the primary cases. This will enable the interruption of further onward transmission. Contact tracing, in conjunction with robust testing and surveillance systems, is central to control strategies during de-escalation. Contact tracing has been a key part of the response in several Asian countries that have successfully reduced case numbers.

It is possible to scale up contact tracing by adapting traditional contact tracing approaches to available local resources and by using a number of resource-saving measures. This document outlines a number of resource measures including the use of well-trained non-public-health staff and volunteers; repurposing existing resources such as call centres; reducing the intensity of contact follow-up and using new technologies such as contact management software and mobile apps.