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Background: COVID-19 is an emerging disease caused by highly contagious virus called SARS-CoV-2. It caused an extensive health and economic burden around the globe. There is no proven effective treatment yet, except certain preventive mechanisms. Some studies assessing the effects of different preventive strategies have been published. However, there is no conclusive evidence. Therefore, this study aimed to review evidences related to COVID-19 prevention strategies achieved through contact tracing, screening, quarantine, and isolation to determine best practices. Methods: We conducted a systematic review in accordance with the PRISMA and Cochrane guidelines by searching articles from major medical databases such as PubMed/Medline, Global Health Database, Embase, CINAHL, Google Scholar, and clinical trial registries. Non-randomized and modeling articles published to date in areas of COVID prevention with contact tracing, screening, quarantine, and isolation were included. Two experts screened the articles and assessed risk of bias with ROBINS-I tool and certainty of evidence with GRADE approach. The findings were presented narratively and in tabular form. Results: We included 22 (9 observational and 13 modeling) studies. The studies consistently reported the benefit of quarantine, contact tracing, screening, and isolation in different settings. Model estimates indicated that quarantine of exposed people averted 44 to 81% of incident cases and 31 to 63% of deaths. Quarantine along with others can also halve the reproductive number and reduce the incidence, thus, shortening the epidemic period effectively. Early initiation of quarantine, operating large-scale screenings, strong contact tracing systems, and isolation of cases can effectively reduce the epidemic. However, adhering only to screening and isolation with lower coverage can miss more than 75% of asymptomatic cases; hence, it is not effective. Conclusion: Quarantine, contact tracing, screening, and isolation are effective measures of COVID-19 prevention, particularly when integrated together. In order to be more effective, quarantine should be implemented early and should cover a larger community.
Girum, T., Lentiro, K., Geremew, M., Migora, B., & Shewamare, S. (2020, December 1). Global strategies and effectiveness for COVID-19 prevention through contact tracing, screening, quarantine, and isolation: a systematic review. Tropical Medicine and Health. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41182-020-00285-w