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Asymptomatic cases may transfer COVID-19

13 Jun 2020 By SHADDAD AL MUSALMY

Research on COVID-19 continues to be conducted across the world and, so far, there is no confirmed study that has proved that asymptomatic cases cannot transfer the disease to a healthy person.

H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, said, “Any carrier of the disease can transfer it to a healthy person, even if no symptoms appear on this infected person.”

He added that studies indicate that COVID-19 infection peaks in the first few days of a person’s contracting the disease. “I advise people who experience the first symptoms to stay at home and proceed to health establishments only if their condition worsens,” H E Dr Sa’eedi said.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), current evidence suggests that most transmission occurs from symptomatic people through close contact with others. ‘Comprehensive studies on transmission from asymptomatic patients are difficult to conduct, as they require testing of large population cohorts and more data are needed to better understand,’ WHO said in a statement.

‘WHO is working with countries around the world, and global researchers, to gain better evidence-based understanding of the disease, as a whole, including the role of asymptomatic patients in the transmission of the virus,’ WHO added.

Accordingly, most recommendations by WHO as well as MoH on personal protective measures are based on controlling transmission from symptomatic patients, including patients with mild symptoms who are not easy to identify early on.

H E Dr Sa’eedi said that the best possible way to prevent the spread is to assume that others around are infected and take preventive measures by keeping safe distance and wearing face masks.

“I also urge owners of companies to shoulder their responsibility in curbing the spread of the disease. One of the causes of the spread is the lack of compliance among companies, with quarantine/isolation measures. Companies need to provide proper quarantine or isolation facilities to their employees,” he said.

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