Contact tracing no longer viable as pandemic rages on, say experts

Mumbai: With Covid-19 cases continuing to rise in Maharashtra and elsewhere in the country, bureaucrats and experts are questioning the viability of contact tracing, especially in areas where there is a high prevalence of infection, and calling for a rethink on the strategy. Several government officials told ET that there is no useful purpose in contact tracing in places like the Mumbai metropolitan region (comprising Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivli, etc), Nagpur, Aurangabad and Satara where the virus has spread among the general population in such a manner that has made contact tracing superfluous.

“If say A has been infected by the virus, then a contact tracing shows that most of his contacts are also positive, it is difficult to figure out who has infected A…or how did these contacts get infected in the first place,” an official said on condition of anonymity. Another official said, “Why do you do contact tracing? It is to break the chain of infection. However, it becomes irrelevant when it has spread among the community in such a large scale. Whether the government admits it or not, it does not change the fact that there is a community spread.”


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