Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions against COVID-19 Pandemic: Review of Contact Tracing and Social Distancing Technologies, Protocols, Apps, Security and Open Research Directions

Uzoma Rita Alo, Friday Onwe Nkwo, Henry Friday Nweke, Ifeanyi Isaiah Achi, Henry Anayo Okemiri
2021 Sensors  
The COVID-19 Pandemic has punched a devastating blow on the majority of the world's population. Millions of people have been infected while hundreds of thousands have died of the disease throwing many families into mourning and other psychological torments. It has also crippled the economy of many countries of the world leading to job losses, high inflation, and dwindling Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The duo of social distancing and contact tracing are the major technological-based
more » ... utical public health intervention strategies adopted for combating the dreaded disease. These technologies have been deployed by different countries around the world to achieve effective and efficient means of maintaining appropriate distance and tracking the transmission pattern of the diseases or identifying those at high risk of infecting others. This paper aims to synthesize the research efforts on contact tracing and social distancing to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The paper critically and comprehensively reviews contact tracing technologies, protocols, and mobile applications (apps) that were recently developed and deployed against the coronavirus disease. Furthermore, the paper discusses social distancing technologies, appropriate methods to maintain distances, regulations, isolation/quarantine, and interaction strategies. In addition, the paper highlights different security/privacy vulnerabilities identified in contact tracing and social distancing technologies and solutions against these vulnerabilities. We also x-rayed the strengths and weaknesses of the various technologies concerning their application in contact tracing and social distancing. Finally, the paper proposed insightful recommendations and open research directions in contact tracing and social distancing that could assist researchers, developers, and governments in implementing new technological methods to combat the menace of COVID-19.
doi:10.3390/s22010280 pmid:35009822 pmcid:PMC8749862 fatcat:y2g2oi4z2zavdc6hzju4hczb64