Previously, we mentioned that Covid-19 is just like that new girl you’re dating.
Every day, you find out new, (sometimes) surprising things about her.
Well, this girl that we’re all forced to date with right now has yet another surprising thing revealed, this time by her father-in-law (read: World Health Organisation (WHO)).
Asymptomatic transmission basically means that even if a person carrying the virus has mild to no symptoms, he can transmit it to other people.
Previously, it was estimated that up to 70% of Covid-19-infected people are asymptomatic and the virus can stay within their bodies for up to 28 weeks.
It was also revealed that Covid-19 is ‘very infectious’ at the start, disregarding if they show symptoms or not.
Singapore, itself, reported at least 10 Covid-19 cases that were infected by asymptomatic patients.
Which is really troublesome because, well, almost all of Singapore’s defences then were geared towards weeding out people with symptoms.
And they can be really hard to detect and contain.
On 8 June, however, this happens:
WHO Now Said Asymptomatic Transmission is ‘Very Rare’ But They Need More Data & Research
According to CNBC, WHO says that asymptomatic transmission is “very rare”.
They say that while asymptomatic transmissions can occur, it’s not the main mode of transmission.
“From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual,” – Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit.
And the basis for their confidence?
WHO claims to have received reports from countries who are doing “very detailed contact tracing”.
“They’re following asymptomatic cases. They’re following contacts. And they’re not finding secondary transmission onward. It’s very rare.”
Disclaimer: More Data Needed
The spokeswoman for WHO acknowledged that there are studies of asymptomatic or presymptomatic spread in nursing homes and households.
However, there are not enough data right now to show whether Covid-19 can spread widely through asymptomatic transmission.
In order to “find the answer”, she says, more data and research is needed.
Focus On The Symptomatic Cases
Governments, WHO said, should focus on detecting and containing Covid-19 cases with symptoms.
Detect symptomatic cases and isolate them.
Follow contacts and quarantine them.
If we manage to trace down every symptomatic case, the outbreak will be severely reduced.
What Will Happen?
Typically, Singapore follows the advice of the WHO.
WHO says infectious period could be shorter? Discharge policy changes.
Asymptomatic transmission possible? Wear masks and circuit breaker.
But this? Maybe, maybe not.
After all, as we all know about the Singapore government, they don’t do things without facts.
“Rare” and “need more research” usually isn’t justification enough for them to make changes.
Although we do wish that asymptomatic transmission is as rare as WHO says because it’ll make things a lot easier.