[COVID-19] Contact tracing and quarantine - best ways of deploying public health measures

There is evidence that the current lockdown is likely to take us only so far. The economy is in the tank, and million lives are in jeopardy. There is a proven public health approach to pandemics that has worked in the past: test widely, isolate the infected, trace the contacts of those infected and quarantine appropriately in designated settings. Recent data from Wuhan show that lockdown + hospitalization of critically ill + self-isolation of mild cases are not sufficient measures to bring the R0 under 1, unless complementing with strict contact tracing and centralized quarantine.

Our short-term fellow Mélanie Heard wrote 2 analysis for the French think-tank Terra Nova on these 2 measures :

- Strict contact tracing is likely to be far more effective if based on an app.
👉 Read the full article here.

- Centralized quarantine requires separate designated facilities to accommodate and monitor those isolated with mild illness and those subject to quarantine. Establish infirmaries by utilizing empty convention centers, for example, to care for those with mild or moderate disease and at low risk; an isolation infirmary for all patients will decrease transmission to family members. Convert now-empty hotels into quarantine centers to house those who have been exposed, and separate them from the general population for 2 weeks. It requires great cooperation and careful balancing of rights. It's not an end game in and of itself, but it's a proven containment strategy.
👉 Read the full article here.

Illustration for this news is a representation of a contact tracing network of people in Harbin, China, from a recent tweet.