Technical Guidance on contact tracing for COVID-19 in the World Health Organization (WHO) African region
This document offers guidance to Member States in the African region on the key steps used to conduct contact tracing related to the COVID-19 response. It is to be used by national and local health authorities in the implementation of tracing of contacts of probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Member States are advised to be flexible in implementing this guidance according their different contexts including the local epidemiology of the pandemic and the control measures implemented including government restrictions and social distancing measures. Many of the lessons learned about best practice of contact tracing in previous Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreaks formed the basis of this guidance* and it will continue to be reviewed periodically as more evidence about the novel disease emerges.
This technical guidance may be implemented in different settings with varying resources and epidemiological situations and should be adapted accordingly. It is intended to describe the COVID-19 specific components that are required to identify and monitor persons who have had contact with COVID-19 cases.
This document is informed by the current evidence available on the COVID-19 pandemic, including the estimated maximum incubation period of 14 days, an infectious period of up to 48 hours prior to presentation of symptoms and assumes that the main modes of transmission are via respiratory droplets and direct contact with infected persons or contaminated surfaces or objects. WHO will continue to update these recommendations as new information becomes available as there is an urgent need for a step-by-step guide to help field teams implement contact tracing in a practical manner in accordance to new evidence about COVID-19.