Contact Tracing: critical method to control the spread of Covid-19.


Aarogya Setu App: an ideal tool for Contact Tracing.

mumbai: Contact Tracing has emerged a critical method to control the spread of Covid-19. Apart from finding people suffering from Covid-19 infection, the method of Contact Tracing also helps to track those who have come in contact with the infected person. The application, developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India has proved to an ideal tool for Contact Tracing.

Earlier, some people who people who had come from abroad were trying to hide their history of international travel. These people were also reluctant to declare the identities of others who had come in their contact. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had to gather information of individuals who had taken international travel from various ministries including the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs and Immigration Centres of all citizens. Then, the Ministry of Health contacted these people through different means.

Even at the community level, when one individual was found Coronavirus positive, the authorities immediately started looking for all persons who could have come in contact of the patient. Considering this fact, the National Centre for Disease Control established a surveillance and response system.

What is Contact Tracing?

Contact Tracing is the monitoring process of people coming into contact with an infected person. The Coronavirus can easily spread from one person to another through direct or indirect contact. However, people who come into close contact with an infected person are at greater risk of getting infected. Therefore, all those who come in contact with a Covid-19 patient are kept under quarantine for 14 days. It is important to keep these individuals under observation, so that they can be taken care of and can be given immediate treatment if required.

There are three stages of contact tracing:

(1) Contact Identification :When a person is confirmed to be COVID positive, authorities identify and trace individuals who would have come in his/her contact since the onset of the disease by inquiring about his/her activities.

(2) Contact List : All persons who come in contact with the Corona virus infected person are listed. They are asked to isolate themselves and contact the medical team if symptoms are visible. These people who came in contact with the infected person are also given information about disease prevention.

(3) Follow-up with Persons who came in Contact with the patient : Health officials remain in regular contact with all persons had come in contact with the infected individual. They monitor their health condition and check for symptoms of the virus. Contact tracing is essential to prevent the spread of corona virus. So, what individuals can do, is to adopt one simple habit that- while, we follow lockdown and stay home safe, on occasions whenever we meet or interact any persons in a day, one can simply note down on paper/ diary, their names or reference which will help in event of need for contact tracing.

How Arogya Setu App is helping?

Dr. Nand Kumar of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi says, many times when you go out for something urgent or you go to office, you are not aware that you are stepping into a high risk zone. In such cases, where the surrounding may be infected, the app sends you an alert. The app uses Bluetooth for contact tracing. Hence, if a person gets infected, this app can easily identify all people who come in his contact.

It also has feature for self assessment, through which correct answers lead you to course of action required and can also opt for guidance from helpline 1075. This assessment tests makes aware of symptoms of COVID and allows user to monitor own health time to time. COVID Updates feature makes you aware of present statistics of case in country and across states.
Dr. Manoj Nesari, Advisor to the Ministry of AYUSH, says that by downloading the Arogya Setu App in your mobile phone, you can protect yourself from Covid-19 infection to certain extent.  The App provides information about various precautionary measures to keep yourself safe from the virus.  As, all the necessary information about the spread of the Coronavirus is updated in the Arogya Setu App, more and more people of the country can use this app to protect themselves.

Aarogya Setu, not only protects individual by advising precautionary measures and notifying cases nearby, but also allows to contribute to protect others with its in build features. One can use resource material like how to boost immunity, how make or use masks etc. available through this app to spread message on how to fight COVID, encouraging others to download ‘Aarogya Setu’ and also by contributing to PMCARES Fund. And even smallest of contribution matters a lot in this fight.



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