The year 2020 was a historical year and will always be remembered for the Covid-19 pandemic that led to disruption of daily routines all across the world. The novel Coronavirus is a viral disease that causes a number of health issues from respiratory issues, coughs, colds, fever, body pain, and dizziness.
Some of the more severe symptoms of the Covid-19 virus include shortness of breath, loss of appetite, persistent chest pain, sore throat, and high body temperature. The alarming thing about the Coronavirus is how easily it can transmit from one person to another.
On March 11, 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 a global pandemic that led to series of events such as
- Closure of businesses, factories, offices, schools, and universities
- Thousands of flights were postponed and canceled
- Many global events that were scheduled got called off, such as the Olympic 2020 in Tokyo, Japan, and Euro Football Cup 2020
- Hundreds of officers asking its employees to work from home to prevent the virus from the spread
Apart from the closure of many things, there are so many precautions that people have to follow, such as
- Wearing a face mask
- Sanitizing hands
- Social distancing
- Staying indoors and at home;
- A two weeks quarantine period if one is traveling from one country to another
What is Contact Tracing and why it is Important
Due to the sudden unexpectedness of the Covid-19, many of the healthcare systems are still trying to zero in how the virus spreads, what are the different symptoms, and most importantly, deriving a suitable vaccine and cure for the virus.
Due to significant advancements in the medical field, many reputable pharmaceutical companies have mass-produced a vaccine. The government of numerous countries has imported the vaccines and started giving them to its people. When the healthcare sector is still researching and developing a cure for the novel Coronavirus, few measures must be taken to prevent the virus from spreading among mass communities.
Staying at home and social distancing has helped to flatten the curve, but more purposeful methods and systems are needed. One such tactic or measure is ‘Contact Tracing’ that helps to identify, in the past 2 weeks, all the people who may have come in contact with a person who has tested positive for Coronavirus.
As the outlook of the world is changing, the rapid progress in technology is trying to make the world a safer and better place. One such innovation is contact tracing software that helps to identify the Covid-19 hotspot area and anticipate the risk of virus spread.
Many medical experts have emphasized the need for a specific system that can help to
- Collect, analyze, and effectively respond to the data collected from the Covid-19 positive cases
- Identify people with the virus and following up with others who have come in contact with them
- A feedback data center
- Provide necessary support during quarantine
Manual contact tracing can be challenging and time-consuming, considering the huge number of population segments in urban cities.
All the collection, analysis, and response to the data take 3 days, and then there are test delays to consider along with new branches of virus transmission. An efficient and robust contact tracing software is crucial to saving a considerable amount of time, resources, and human efforts.
Certain companies are involved in public health solutions that design and develop software and systems that can contact tracing. The main goal is disease prevention and control. A comprehensive contact tracing program involves people, processes, and systems to deliver valuable contact tracing services.
Due to the massive area and population, state, county, and local jurisdictions need help from the contact tracing software and workers and support staff at an unprecedented scale. The technologically advanced and digitally integrated software is necessary across every segment from local, city, state, and county governments to schools, private industries, and universities.
How Contact Tracing Works
A person infected with Coronavirus can spread the virus through minute droplets while coughing or even exhaling. The common safe distance as recommended is 6 feet, but many studies have revealed that some people can spread the virus without showing any signs or symptoms. The risk of virus spread even when some people not showing the signs even further complicates the containment.
If counter measures are not taken, the positive Covid-19 positive cases can surge exponentially, which will overwhelm hospitals. Apart from social distancing, contact tracing is a fantastic way to prevent virus transmission from one person to another. Contact tracing means tracing all the people who have been in contact with an infected person.
For example, Amanda is a hair stylist and works in a salon. If Amanda contracts the novel Coronavirus, then the next step will be notifying every person and asking them to test for Covid-19. The salon will have a list of appointments for the last 2 weeks in which Amanda was working.
A public health worker can access the list and contact every person who came for the appointment in the past 2 weeks. The people will be asked to monitor their symptoms and even asked to self-quarantine for 2 weeks.
Contact tracing can be effective for an enclosed environment, take, for example, offices, salons, and restaurants but not for places where hundreds of people come in contact daily. People usually do not keep detailed logs of every minute of their life or who they encountered on a subway train.
The simple and best solution is leveraging digital technology in contact tracing. In some of the developed countries, there are smartphone apps that track who comes close to each other, and when one of the people gets infected with Covid-19, then others automatically get a notification message alerting them.
The contact tracking software installed in a health facility helps monitor doctors, nurses, and support staff who are on the front line to counter the Coronavirus. The software is used to monitor workers health status with daily reports, locate hotspots, track testing, and other quarantining requirements.
The Covid-19 contact tracing solutions are essential to prevent the further spread of the virus with the impending rise of cases, as seen by the soaring number of Coronavirus positive cases in few areas.