Contact tracers call those found to have become infected with the novel coronavirus in order to find out who they have been in contact with. Currently around 450 contact tracers are doing this work in Flanders. Originally the Care and Health agency had aimed to recruit 1,200 contact tracers.
Nevertheless, the Agency’s Jan Moonens told VRT News that "The number varies from day to day but there are currently more than sufficient. We want to keep this group on for the time being as it is still unclear how the situation will evolve”.
Mr Moonens went on to say that the system still has room for improvement. He added that an efficient flow of information from GPs is paramount to contact tracing working well.
Another issue is the inability of contact tracers to be able to contact someone that has become infected. This can be due to an incomplete or incorrect telephone number having been entered into the system or because people aren’t answering their phones.
Furthermore, those that can be contacted often admit to having had had surprising few contacts: an average of between 1 and 1.5. Mr Moonens says that the Agency needs to invest in training the contact tracers so they can learn techniques to help them gain the trust of those they call which in turn would make respondents more open about their contacts.