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Use of contact tracing as a pivotal tool to curb the COVID-19 transmission in the Urban part of Western Maharashtra

 Department of Community Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Arun Kumar Yadav,
Department of Community Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Wanowrie, Pune - 411 040, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_667_20

Introduction: Contact tracing is an essential public health response to infectious disease outbreaks, principally in the early stages of an outbreak when specific treatments are limited. Importation of novel coronavirus (SARS CoV-2) from Hubei province China and elsewhere into the world highlights the need to recognize the power of contact tracing as a preventive measure. This study was performed to estimate the SARS CoV-2 transmission among the contacts of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19). Methods: The present study included data from contact tracing performed on confirmed COVID-19 cases admitted in the tertiary care hospital of western Maharashtra. Contacts were categorized into high-risk and low-risk contacts. Contacts were quarantined in home or institute, and reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was done as per the COVID-19 testing strategy. Contacts were admitted once they were RT-PCR-confirmed COVID-19 positive. Results: Out of 471 COVID-19 cases, 104 (22.08%) were females and 367 (77.92%) were males. A total of 2617 contacts were traced with the mean (standard deviation) of 5.56 (8.52). Of these 2617 contacts, 289 (11.04%) contacts became RT-PCR-confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. Out of 471 COVID-19 cases, 271 (46.7) were the contacts of RT-PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases, and from them, 92 (42.4%) were asymptomatic at the time of admission. Conclusion: The contact tracing strategy in India helped to identify a sufficient proportion of infected individuals, and due to that, subsequent spread of the disease could be prevented. However, the complete achievement will depend on the rapid detection of cases and isolation of contacts. With the increasingly large number of cases globally once in between the null period, this strategy can be effectively utilized to contain the spread of disease.

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    -  Yadav AK
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