For all the unknowns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is certain: Containing and rolling back the disease is only possible with reliable information about the prevalence of the infection and its spread. The greatest difficulty now is identifying individuals carrying the virus and all the people who interacted with them.
New technologies can help surveil and monitor diseases and their transmission, but that infrastructure is not yet in place. The new coronavirus outbreak is forcing a reassessment of plans to develop those capabilities and making plain the problems that they will face.