Effective Contact Tracing System Minimizes COVID-19 Related Infections and Deaths: Policy Lessons to Reduce the Impact of Future Pandemic Diseases

Igor Benati, Mario Coccia


One of the fundamental questions in the presence of Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic crisis and in general of new pandemic diseases is the planning of design effective policy responses to reduce the impact in the initial phase of diffusion, when appropriate therapies and drugs lack. This study analyses a prominent case study given by Italy, one of the first European countries to be damaged by the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. In particular, this study focuses on health policy responses to the pandemic crisis between selected Italian regions (Veneto and Piedmont) that were the first areas to experience a rapid increase in confirmed cases and deaths of COVID-19. The analysis of early health policies, from February to July 2020 (during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic), reveals that some regions have managed this pandemic crisis with appropriate policy responses based on: a) timely and widespread testing of individuals, b) effective task force of epidemiological investigation in a pervasive contact-tracing system to detect and isolate all infected people. This health policy has reduced total deaths and negative effects of COVID-19 on people's health during the first pandemic wave, when pharmaceutical interventions, such as vaccines and effective antiviral drugs were not available. This evidence here, in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, provides important lessons to design an operational public health policy to constrain the diffusion of future infectious diseases and pandemic waves driven by new viral agents and subsequent variants, when effective drugs are not ready.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v12i3.19834

Copyright (c) 2022 Igor Benati

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Journal of Public Administration and Governance  ISSN 2161-7104

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