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Coronavirus: ministry reissues guidelines for contact tracing

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The health ministry on Wednesday issued clarifications on contact tracing.

In a statement, it said that in the context of the continuous monitoring of the new data that emerge, following the recommendation of the scientific advisory committee for the coronavirus, the protocol for the release of the close contacts of the cases is revised.

According to the ministry, during the tracing process, a positive case is asked to state the contacts they had two days before the onset of symptoms or two days before the test in case of asymptomatic cases.

Close contacts are given a PCR test after making an appointment with a public health clinic and are given instructions by text on how to self-isolate.

Close contacts are obliged to self-isolate for 14 days from their last contact with a positive case regardless of their own test results. Close contacts can be released earlier only with a negative PCR test on the 7th the day from previous testing.

The release of the 7th the day with a negative PCR applies only to close contacts and not for initially positive cases.

In case close contacts are not isolated from the positive case such as parents caring for a minor child, caregivers caring for people who are not self-employed, etc., then the day of their isolation is renewed with a new ‘day zero’ from on the day of release of the positive case because until the last day before their release a positive person is potentially contagious.

Close contacts can’t be released prematurely by their personal physician but only at the end of the required number of days.

They are also not allowed to visit rapid test sampling points, as there is a risk of the virus spreading to other people there and they will have to wait for information from the public health clinics to schedule an appointment.

Close contacts can contact 1474 for general information on COVID-19, or for tracking issues by calling 22771923 or [email protected]

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