Tracing contacts of people with coronavirus infections is the most important step in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and countries that are failing to do so have no excuse, the World Health Organization chief said on Monday.
“Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing.
“We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives. But the hard reality is that this is not even close to being over,” he said. “Most people remain susceptible, the virus still has a lot of room to move.”
Countries such as South Korea had managed to contain the disease by tracking down the contacts of those carrying infection, Tedros said. This was possible even under extreme conditions, as the WHO itself had shown by halting an outbreak of Ebola in eastern Congo, tracing 25,000 contacts a day in a remote area where some 20 armed groups were fighting, he added.
“No excuse for contact tracing. If any country is saying contact tracing is difficult, it is a lame excuse.”