The World Health Organization (WHO) has praised the Uttar Pradesh government for its COVID-19 management strategy and termed it as a good example for other states to follow, an official statement released by the statement said here on Tuesday.
Undertaking a massive exercise to assess Uttar Pradesh’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) contact-tracing, which helped the state fight the pandemic, WHO’s National Public Health Surveillance Project – aided with 800 on-ground monitoring staff assessed the quality of contact tracing of 58,000 cases across 75 districts from 01-14 August 2020.
According to WHO, systematic tracking of contacts through a proper mechanism is the key, along with a well-trained health workforce to implement the surveillance activities. The WHO team provided technical support to the state government to boost contact tracing efforts and strengthen the capacity of field teams through training. Around 70,000 front line health workers had been employed by the state government to reach out to high-risk contacts of COVID-19 positive cases, recording as high as 90% coverage. But to assess the quality of contact tracing, WHO was roped in as cases were rising. Telephonic interviews were conducted of laboratory-confirmed positive cases through a pre-determined set of questions by the 800 field monitors of the WHO team. The interview findings revealed that the average number of high-risk contacts per positive case was 3.5. A total of 1,63,536 high-risk contacts were identified during this exercise by field monitors. 93% of the high-risk contacts had been contacted and tested for COVID-19. Although only 7% of the high-risk contacts were missed, there were 17 districts where more than 10% of the high-risk contacts were not tested since they were not identified by the district health teams. This effort helped in the identification of several cases that would not have been otherwise detected, thus controlling the spread of the virus.
“The UP government’s strategic response to COVID-19 by stepping up contact tracing efforts is exemplary and can serve as a good example for other states”, the WHO Representative adds. Uttar Pradesh currently has tested over 1 crore samples till date, the highest for any state.