Why is Contact Tracing Not Recommended During a Pandemic?
In 2019, prior to COVID-19, the WHO shared a document on the best practices during a pandemic. This document specifically outlined that contract tracing should not be used during a pandemic as the evidence is weak to suggest it can be beneficial to reduce the spread of a virus. Other health experts and emergency response agencies such as the CDC, Health Canada, and others both contributed and agreed to these practices.
Why did we Contact Trace During COVID-19?
What evidence changed this recommendation in less than a year during COVID-19? Nothing. To this day no evidence has been provided that contact tracing is effective. However after the announced COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO, CDC, and many other health experts recommended all governments heavily contact trace to help identify hotspots of COVID-19. This was then used to justify asymptomatic PCR testing, harsh lockdowns, and closures of businesses. It is claimed this has helped reduce the spread of COVID-19, despite the evidence.
Why does the WHO hesitate to recommend isolation?
Isolation of the sick is outlined many times within the WHO pandemic plan, yet under much restraint. Additionally it is made clear that exposed, asymptomatic / healthy people should never be quarantined. Not only is the evidence lacking for isolation of the sick, but the evidence was even less supportive for the exposed.
How well did we follow the plan?
While the WHO pandemic plan cautiously recommended the voluntary isolation of sick individuals, this recommendation was not followed and instead, Public Health Ontario imposed mandatory isolation. Remember not just of the sick but of those who are healthy and without any symptoms, contrary to the plan. This lead to an increase of domestic abuse and suicide.