Covid-19: “contact tracing” undermined by Omicron

Louise Sallé, edited by Solène Delinger

“Test, trace, isolate” … Government doctrine weakens in the face of the Omicron variant. It is the “trace” part which is the most fragile. The “contact tracing” cells, within the departmental health insurance funds, are no longer keeping pace. As a result, the call instructions for contact cases and positive cases were modified on January 3.

Faced with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the “test, trace, isolate” strategy is becoming more and more difficult to apply. The “trace” part is the one that poses the most difficulties. The “contact tracing” cells, within the departmental health insurance funds, are no longer able to keep pace. The call instructions for contact cases were therefore modified on January 3.

Contact cases receive an SMS

Like Chloe, positive cases and contact cases are no longer called by Health Insurance. A simple SMS reminds you of the isolation instructions. The people who give their landlines therefore do not have the necessary information.

“There are a lot of people who are not comfortable with computer tools and who will not be able to take the steps alone”, underlines Benjamin Sablier, CGT delegate for Health Insurance in the Bouches-du-Rhône, at microphone from Europe 1. “So there is a good chance that these SMS will go by the wayside and that we end up with positive patients and insureds who will not necessarily isolate themselves”, he warns .

Saturated telephone lines

The line finds itself saturated with people who have questions about their isolation, or their sick leave. Some are not issued due to computer bugs and delays in registering positive cases. But at the end of the phone, no answer.

“In fact, we reached very low dropout rates since we were less than 8 on average in the Bouches-du-Rhône, knowing that this is impacting the rest of the health insurance missions and that the insured people need us “, deplores Benjamin Sablier on Europe 1. No additional recruitment is planned for the 6,000 employees of the contact tracing.

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