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DOH now confirms that asymptomatics can transmit the virus

DOH retracts their statement about COVID-19 transmission

The Department of Health (DOH) now confirms that COVID-19 patients with no symptoms, or at least none yet, can infect other people

On Thursday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that recent studies prove that “pre-symptomatic” virus transmission is possible. 

“Experts have been saying in this recent evidence that presymptomatic transmission really occurs,” Vergeire said. 

This means that even a person infected with the virus who has not shown any symptoms can infect others most especially during the 1-3 days of infection where the viral load is at its peak. 

“May mga ebidensya na transmission occurs from patients who are lab-positive for COVID-19 but have no symptoms yet, or report that they have no symptoms but have very mild symptoms,” she added.

This is contrary to their previous statements where the DOH insisted that there is no evidence that asymptomatics can infect others which greatly confused citizens. 

Moreover, the Scientists Unite Against COVID-19, an alliance of concerned citizens, organizations, and other citizens who aim for mass testing in the Philippines, posted a “fact check” on their Facebook page regarding the COVID-19 transmission. 

They clarified that both pre-symptomatics and asymptomatics are contagious. 

“As early as February, pre-symptomatic transmission was reported in China,” they mentioned in their post. 

“One study estimates that pre-symptomatic cases may account for 44% of transmission, meaning almost half of the infections occurred before the patient developed symptoms” they added. 

There is real difficulty in tracing asymptomatics, that is why the virus can easily be transmitted to others by these “silent spreaders”. 

Thus, the above-mentioned alliance promotes mass testing in the country as they believe it is the best way to identify most of the asymptomatics. 

“We need to INCREASE our testing capacity for proactive mass testing: we should actively and quickly find and isolate asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic carriers among people with exposure such as traced contacts, frontline healthcare workers, and high-risk communities,” they said. 

Netizens react

As of June 3, the DOH has recorded a total of 19,748 cases of COVID-19. 14,621 are active cases of which, 827 are asymptomatic, and 13,712 are mild cases. 

Written by Neil

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