By Aarti Tikoo Singh
China’s health authorities claim that several people have been diagnosed as carriers and transmitters of the Coronavirus even as they showed no symptoms. The symptoms of the Coronavirus, which has killed over 425 people and infected over 21,000 people in China so far, are common cold and breathing issues.
Li Xingwang, chief infectious diseases expert at Beijing Ditan Hospital told the Chinese media that “most of the dormant carriers were related to and had caught the virus from patients with symptoms.”
The dormant carriers, he said, have the virus and can transmit it. “The amount of virus correlates to the severity of the illness, which means these patients carry less of the virus and their ability to transmit disease is weaker,” Li said.
“If there are dormant carriers, then it is an epidemic of much larger scale than it is being reported. As China’s capacity to conduct tests on a greater number of people has increased rapidly in the last one month, more cases of infections are coming forward. But tests are not being conducted on those who don’t have symptoms,” one of the students in Beijing told IANS on phone.
Authorities in New Delhi confirmed that the 650 people who were evacuated from Wuhan by the government and are undergoing 14-days quarantine process, haven’t been asked to do the swab tests required to diagnose the infection. “They are under observation at two centres in the national capital region. If anyone shows symptoms, he will be referred to the AIIMS for a test,” an official at one of the centres said.
In new treatment and diagnosis guidelines released by Beijing on Wednesday, the National Health Commission said people with mild symptoms should be quarantined and treated as well. The guidelines also said that airborne and digestive tract infections were found in patients faeces.
A key meeting chaired by China’s Premier Li Keqiang was held in Beijing on Tuesday to adopt measures to enable all patients with or without symptoms to access treatment.
(Aarti Tikoo Singh can be contacted at [email protected])