Discharged asymptomatic don't transmit virus, national health body says

Updated: Jun 19, 2020 Print
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Residents undergo nucleic acid tests for COVID-19 on Monday at a stadium in Beijing's Xicheng district. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]

Asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus who are discharged from medical observations are no longer able to transmit the virus, the National Health Commission said on June 18 answering questions from internet users worried about the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Beijing.

In China, asymptomatic individuals — who test positive for the virus but show no outward signs of infection such as fever, cough or sore throat — are usually identified through voluntary testing or massive screening, the commission said in an article published on its official WeChat account.

They are placed under medical observation for 14 days and are not discharged until testing negative for the virus twice, with samples being taken at least 24 hours apart, it said.

Some of them will remain symptom-free throughout the 14-day observation, while the remaining will begin displaying symptoms following an incubation period and be classified as confirmed cases.

The commission said based on obtained knowledge about the virus, when asymptomatic cases reach the standards for being lifted from medical observation, they are no longer a risk to spreading the virus.

People who have recently traveled to high-risk areas are suggested to voluntarily take tests, it added.

The Chinese mainland added eight new asymptomatic infections on Wednesday, including two from overseas. As of Wednesday, 111 asymptomatic carriers were under medical observation, according to the commission.

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