عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

Premier Li Keqiang Urges Prevention and Treatment of Asymptomatic Cases as a High Priority

2020/03/28

“Close attention must be paid to preventing and treating asymptomatic cases,” cautioned Premier Li Keqiang when chairing a meeting of the Central Leading Group on Responding to the Novel Coronavirus Disease Outbreak on 26 March. Asymptomatic cases, short for asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, refer to those who show no clinical symptoms yet test positive in the etiological examination of their respiratory or other samples. The relevant studies suggest, there are four ways to identify such cases: first, proactive testing on the close contacts of COVID-19 cases during medical observation; second, proactive testing during the investigation of cluster cases; third, proactive testing on people exposed during infection source tracing; and fourth, proactive testing on certain groups of people who have travel or stay records in regions with continuous transmission.

Reference Reading: Prof. Zhang Wenhong: Asymptomatic Carriers Now Pose the Biggest Risk. “Among the 100+ imported cases in Shanghai, we are seeing more and more asymptomatic patients”, said Zhang Wenhong, head of Shanghai’s COVID-19 clinical expert team and director of the infectious diseases department of the Huashan Hospital affiliated to Fudan University. His team found that some patients were positive in the serological test for three weeks, yet remained asymptomatic in the whole process. Zhang explained that asymptomatic infection means that for many people, the virus could be contained by the immune system, unlike SARS which would cause critical symptoms and even death.

Zhang noted that asymptomatic cases pose the biggest imported risk. “Now only Chinese are allowed to enter the country, but when we reopen the door to the world, asymptomatic carriers among the large number of international travelers will pose a huge risk.”

Zhang pointed out that in the early stage of the outbreak, the main approach had been to provide diagnosis to all showing symptoms. Now, the focus has shifted to proactive screening. The fact that so many asymptomatic cases have been identified through such screening shows that Shanghai has done it right: first, all inbound travelers are required to undergo tests to detect possible asymptomatic cases; second, they all need to do two weeks of quarantine, including those who are not from the affected regions, as they may be in an incubatory state given the current situation of the COVID-19 worldwide.

Suggest to a friend
Print