Trend of COVID-19 depends heavily on 'intervention': Zhong Nanshan

Trend of COVID-19 depends heavily on 'intervention': Zhong Nanshan 

At the invitation of Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming, China's top respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan and South Korean health experts exchanged experiences in containing the spread of COVID-19 via a webinar on Friday afternoon, with topics including asymptomatic cases, imported cases and the trend of the global pandemic.

Most asymptomatic cases are infectious

The asymptomatically infected people actually involve two groups, one comprises people who have come into contact with COVID-19 patients, the other involves travelers from places with severe outbreaks, said Zhong. When they are infected, they have the virus in their upper respiratory tract.

Currently, most of the infected appear to be infectious as many asymptomatic people will develop symptoms over a period of time. However, some preliminary studies show a very small number of people whose nucleic acid test is positive but who don't have any symptoms over a long time. It is unclear whether they are contagious.

"We prefer to treat the asymptomatically infected people as potentially infectious ones and isolate them appropriately. It's safer," said Zhong, adding that the proportion of these cases now is very small.

China has issued a circular on the management of asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 to strengthen the detection, reporting and treatment of such cases.

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