Greater clarity required on aims and some operational details

GREATER CLARITY ON STRATEGY a. Outcomes: No public health aim is given. Without this, it is difficult to see how one can gauge if the contact tracing system is working. The usual aim of contact tracing is to interrupt transmission of an infection in a group who have actually or probably been exposed to it, and thus prevent spread to the wider community. It should be a priority to define outcome measures which can help assess the tracing system's effectiveness e.g. rate of conversion of contacts to cases, linkages between and among clusters of cases, overall rate of community transmission. b. Contingency: The scale of the national tracing system is unprecedented. Many of its components e.g. the digital tools, are untried. It is almost certain that things will go wrong. There is no indication that any risk assessment has been undertaken and contingencies identified. c. Oversight: it is not clear if there will be any strategic oversight for the overall system i.e. who will sign off it is in place, monitor that it operates effectively across the country and reports on it nationally. No indication is given of any accountability chain. FURTHER CLARITY ON OPERATIONAL DETAILS a. Cases and contacts: it is not clear if those who work in high risk settings e.g. ICU, care homes, will have different requirements for exiting isolation at home (e.g. negative test results). It is not clear if compliance with isolation will be monitored and if so, how enforced. b. Contact tracers: It is not clear if interviewing will be solely carried out over the phone or other devices. It is not clear that if face to face interviews are required, in certain circumstances, PPE will be recommended.

Why the contribution is important

Based on my experience of public health over many years, being specific about one's intentions greatly enhances their realisation. The above are issues about which I found myself requiring greater clarity on reading the document.

by Donagh52 on May 07, 2020 at 04:26PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.8
Based on: 5 votes