On Friday, during a live press briefing, the Department of Health (DOH) reiterated that COVID-19 asymptomatic patients will not infect others.
DOH insists that there is still no evidence that asymptomatic patients can transmit the virus to other people.
“Wala pang totoong ebidensya na ang asymptomatic patients ay nakakahawa. Ang nakakahawa talaga ay yung may mga sintomas, ngunit atin rin pong binabantayan ang mga obserbasyon na ‘yan. Let’s embrace the new normal,” DOH said.
However, several studies were conducted that show proof of the transmissibility of the virus from asymptomatic patients to other people.
In an article published on February 19 by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), it says that the viral load from symptomatic and asymptomatic patients are the same.
“The viral load that was detected in the asymptomatic patient was similar to that in the symptomatic patients, which suggests the transmission potential of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic patients,” NEJM claimed.
News reporter Atom Araullo also provided a clarification regarding this matter.
“Ulitin lang po natin: batay sa mga pag-aaral, may malinaw na ebidensiya na nakahahawa ang mga pasyenteng walang sintomas (at least 44% of transmissions in one paper). Whether they are ‘presymptomatic’ or ‘true asymptotics”’doesn’t seem to matter as much in terms of strategy,” Araullo said in a tweet.
Ulitin lang po natin: batay sa mga pag-aaral, may malinaw na ebidensiya na nakahahawa ang mga pasyenteng walang sintomas (at least 44% of transmissions in one paper). Whether they are “presymptomatic” or “true asymptotics” doesn’t seem to matter as much in terms of strategy. https://t.co/TzZSsCZYqX
— Atom Araullo (@atomaraullo) May 29, 2020
Recently, Francisco Duque III, Health Secretary also said in a senate hearing that the World Health Organization (WHO) holds no proof that asymptomatic patients can infect others. His remark gained backlash from netizens and politicians like Senator Nancy Binay who questioned the credibility of his statement.
Now, DOH’s statement on the ability of asymptomatic patients to transmit the virus to others again garnered various reactions from netizens.
A twitter user even said that DOH’s pronouncements are frightening and dangerous.
— Tito (@maroontito) May 29, 2020
The netizens also cited studies from different medical journals that validates the transmissibility of COVID-19 from asymptomatics.
Sabi ni WHO at NEJM meron, ang wala pabg evidence ay bakit sila nakakahawa kahit asymptomatic.
— bestialbunny (@bestialbunny) May 29, 2020
If this true, I dare DOH SECRETARY to be exposed to Asymptomatic patients for a day!
— T.C (@TC19_) May 29, 2020
Kakalat ba ‘to ng ganito kung hindi nakakahawa ang asymptomatic patients?
— anjiira (@joyibuig) May 29, 2020
— R. Gabriel (@arewhygabriel) May 29, 2020
Ahensya mismo ng gobyerno nagkakalat ng fake news. The irony. Wow.
— Lady Bedspacer (@SlutForFries) May 29, 2020
Asymptomatic but positive is equally dangerous with having symptoms, they both carry the virus. Ii case either of them sneezes the virus spreads…is there a qualification of weak virus with asymptomatic?
— Joselito Salvador (@jssalvador225) May 29, 2020
Seriously??? Even those people who are not in medical field will disagree to this. People are panicking not only because of the the virus itself. People panics because those who we trusts who should have known better, don't know any better.
— ctrn slvnr (@ctrnslvnr) May 29, 2020
DOH is resorting to denialism to justify reopening for the economy. This is bad. This is really bad.#DuqueResign
— Gerard Bernardo | #MassTestingNowPH (@thegerdberd) May 29, 2020
So, aantayin nalang na maging symptomatic, tapos tsaka i-test isolate, ganun? Ganun ba plano @DOHgovph ?
— untilthedaysmallthingsarentsmallanymore (@tilthelastpage7) May 29, 2020
The DOH did not retract their statement on the COVID-19’s transmission despite the backlash from netizens.