Effective track-and-trace system to prevent second COVID-19 wave: UN

WION Web Team New York, United States May 29, 2020, 04.32 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )

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A track and test and trace system reduces reliance on strict confinement measures; promotes the public confidence and so encourages consumption and supports employment; and helps minimise operational disruption at the workplace

An effective track-and-trace system will prevent second peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, save lives, and can reduce the number of working hours lost to illness by as much as 50 per cent, according to a major global study.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) said the effective testing and tracing of infections was essential if employers wanted staff to return to work and for them to stay healthy.

The Geneva-based, United Nations body estimates that working hour losses can be reduced from about 14 per cent in countries that put in place weak track-and-trace systems down to 7 per cent in countries with the ''highest intensity of tracking and tracing.''

England's National Health Service had introduced a test and trace service on Tuesday, with 25,000 contact tracing staff and the capacity to trace the 10,000 contacts per day.

According to ILO's COVID-19 monitor ''testing and tracing can itself create new jobs, even if temporary, which can be targeted towards youth and other priority groups.''

A track and test and trace system reduces reliance on strict confinement measures; promotes the public confidence and so encourages consumption and supports employment; and helps minimise operational disruption at the workplace

The International Labour Organisation said an effective system was needed or employers and workers would miss out on much of the benefit of returning to work.

If workers remained wary about the health threats of returning to work, it would leave many vulnerable people excluded and exposed to the threat of redundancy.

''Creating an employment-rich recovery that also promotes equity and sustainability means getting people and enterprises working again as soon as possible, in safe conditions,'' said the ILO’s director general, Guy Ryder.

''Testing and tracing can be an important part of the policy package if we are to fight fear, reduce risk and get our economies and societies moving again quickly.''