On April 12, Guangzhou confirmed 29 asymptomatic cases, seven of them have been to a bistro on the Jianshe 6th Rd., according to the city’s health commission.
UPDATES ON COVID-19 CASES
According to the announcement, Guangzhou had reported 3 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, including one from Hubei and two infected by imported cases.
Moreover, Guangzhou confirmed 29 more asymptomatic cases, with 4 found at entry port and 25 detected through investigation. Among those 25 cases, there are one Chinese, one American and 23 Africans.
According to Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention (GZCDC), one of the confirmed cases and seven of the asymptomatic cases have been to Firuz Bistro, a restaurant located in Yuexiu district.
DETECTION OF LOCAL TRANSMISSION
Guangzhou started to impose virus testing on international arrivals (both Chinese and foreign nationals) who entered into China after March 8 and had not been quarantined.
“We discovered 4 infected expats in just three days, 3 of whom had dined in a restaurant called EMMA FOOD,” said Zhang Zhoubin, Deputy Director of GZCDC, at the press conference.
Then the team turned to the restaurant and found that its owners and her employees all tested positive for coronavirus.
“We traced their close contacts and detected more infected patients including the owner’s friend, the employee’s husband and other expats. We also discovered that all of these infected patients had direct or indirect connections with locations including Tong Tong Trade City, Firuz Bistro and Bo Le Trade City.”
ABOUT ASYMPTOMATIC CORONAVIRUS CARRIERS
Now imported cases and asymptomatic carriers have become the major concern among the public who fear a possible second wave of infection. Here are four important things that can give you a better understanding of asymptomatic coronavirus carriers.
“The infectivity of asymptomatic carriers depends on different situations. If such cases are found after a long period of isolation in Wuhan, the infectivity is very low. If an asymptomatic coronavirus carrier is found among returnees from places where the epidemic is still serious, the infectivity would be quite high,” said Wei Sheng, a professor at the School of Public Health of Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
According to Tong Zhaohui, vice president of the Beijing Chao-Yang Hospital, there are two types of asymptomatic infections. “One is pre-symptomatic — referring to patients that have not yet developed any symptoms but are actually in incubation period. These people need to be screened out and managed as confirmed cases.”
“The other are people who show neither any symptom nor pathological changes in CT scan imaging. They are the real asymptomatic carriers. They are not patients but just test positive for nucleic acid,” said Tong.
“Asymptomatic carriers do have certain infectivity but it’s generally weak, and much lower than that of symptomatic infected persons,” said Tong. “Droplets containing the virus cannot shed without sneezing, coughing or other symptoms, so silent carriers are less likely to infect others.”
“Asymptomatic infection is not a special product of COVID-19. All infectious diseases such as measle, influenza and SARS have a certain proportion of asymptomatic infections, and silent carriers in none of the cases had caused a large-scale outbreak in society,” said Tong.
Tong noted that preliminary epidemiological investigation into SARS and COVID-19 both proved that asymptomatic carriers have very limited infectivity and will not cause large-scale transmission. He added that the risks can be well controlled as long as the epidemic prevention and control measures are fully implemented.
“Once an asymptomatic carrier is found, isolated observation and detailed epidemiological investigation shall be carried out in a timely manner, and control and monitoring shall be strengthened in key areas and among close contacts. We hope these measures can help trace more asymptomatic carriers and reduce the chance of transmission,” said Li, director of the Health Emergency Center of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Currently all sides have attached great importance to the prevention and control of asymptomatic carriers. So people do not need to worry too much,” Li added.
- Will asymptomatic infections cause a rebound in epidemic?
Most asymptomatic carriers were found from close contacts of confirmed patients. “So people who have not been exposed to COVID-19 patients are not likely to be infected and there is no need to panic,” said Tong.
“The most important thing is to take proper protective measures,” said Li.
There is no need for those who have neither suspected symptoms nor close contacts with confirmed COVID-19 patients to take nucleic acid tests, according to experts, who added that good hygiene habits should be kept even after the epidemic.
“We should stay alert and avoid some subconscious behaviors like rubbing eyes after touching the mask,” said Li.
- What can we do when there are asymptomatic carriers?
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SOURCE | GZCDC / Newsgd / Xinhua