The conventional contact tracing will only be successful at containing the coronavirus outbreaks if people get the results within 24 hours of developing the symptoms according to the research. Scientists writing in the Lancet Public Health journal also supported the use of mobile application technology, which they say can speed up the process of contact tracing and keep the reproductive number (R) of the virus below one, even if only one-fifth of the population was to be using them.
Testing is available to the general public at several centers all around the world. There are also mobile testing units and home testing kits, which are processed at the UK Government-funded Lighthouse Lab in Glasgow.
NEW—Speed of testing is most critical factor in success of contact tracing strategies to slow #COVID19; a delay of 3 days or more between symptom onset & testing will not reduce onward transmission of virus sufficiently: a modelling study @TheLancetPH https://t.co/fMuK523UzM pic.twitter.com/Nf2aEU0NIG
— The Lancet (@TheLancet) July 17, 2020
Why is contact tracing against Coronavirus not working
The world’s contact tracing regime includes Test and Protect, which should curtail transmission by notifying individuals who may have come into contact with an infected person, which will follow a positive test result.
Researchers from Liverpool, Holland, and Portugal used mathematical modeling to map the effectiveness of conventional and app-based contact tracing on community transmission, as well as the impact of testing delays. The model assumes that around 40 percent of virus transmission occurs before a person develops symptoms.
If COVID-19 testing is delayed by three days or more after a person develops symptoms, even the most efficient contact tracing strategy cannot reduce onward transmission of the virus. Right now the best way to stay safe is to make all of the people in the world wear face masks.
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Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.