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Coronavirus: Text messages part of new directions for contact tracing

The health ministry on Friday modified the process of informing those who tested positive to coronavirus, and their contacts, due to the large amount of daily coronavirus cases.

“The aim of updating the procedures is to minimise the time required to inform both the cases and their contacts,” said the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit in an announcement on Friday.

People who test positive will now receive a text message if the unit fails to inform them via phone the same day their results are out.

The text will include a link containing written instructions to be followed by people who test positive.

“Upon receiving the message, the individual should start self-isolating and begin tracing the individuals with whom they had close contact 48 hours before the showed symptoms or before the day of testing if they are asymptomatic,” the announcement said.

The unit will contact them via phone to record their personal data within 24 hours.

Confirmed cases are responsible for initially informing those they came in contact with and give their personal information for tracing. A text will also be sent to the suspect cases, with a link for instructions.

Close contacts must also self-isolate.

Services of the health ministry will phone the contacts of confirmed cases to arrange a test within 72 hours.

“The information via text message in the cases of people who tested positive or their contacts, is official and individuals must follow the instructions given,” the unit added.

In case someone shows symptoms before the unit comes in contact with them, they must inform their personal doctor, stating they came in contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case.

More than 500 coronavirus cases were announced this week, with three-digit numbers daily except on Monday, when only 43 cases were detected due to closed labs over the weekend.




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