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China Excluded Asymptomatic Coronavirus Cases From Official Numbers

chinese guards in masks and suits checking temperatures in beijing
Chinese guards checking temperatures and registering people in Beijing, China on March 31, 2020. (Lintao Zhang/Getty) 

By    |   Tuesday, 31 March 2020 11:00 AM

China will now include asymptomatic cases of the coronavirus in its official daily number of confirmed cases, having excluded them previously, the South China Morning Post reports.

The country’s National Health Commission announced on Tuesday that its daily figures will start counting coronavirus carriers with no symptoms starting on Wednesday. The commission also revealed that there are 1,541 asymptomatic carriers currently under observation in mainland China. SCMP previously reported that a full one-third of coronavirus cases in China may be asymptomatic, according to classified Chinese government data obtained by the newspaper.

The commission also found some cases in which people who have come into contact with an asymptomatic carrier have become ill in what is described as a cluster of infections. “There are a small number of asymptomatic carriers whose respiratory tract swabs indicated a viral load that was no different from that of confirmed patients,” the commission states. “But some specialists said the asymptomatic carriers may be less infectious because they don’t cough or sneeze.”

Chang Jile, director of the commission’s Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, also announced that China will start increasing its screening and investigating asymptomatic cases.

“With effect from April 1, we will include reports of asymptomatic cases, any status change and how they are being handled, as part of our daily outbreak updates to address public concern,” Chang said. “We will strengthen our work in monitoring, surveillance, quarantine and the treatment of asymptomatic carriers, and do sampling in key areas to investigate and analyse these carriers.”

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China will now include asymptomatic cases of the coronavirus in its official daily number of confirmed cases, having excluded them previously, the South China Morning Post reports. The country's National Health Commission announced on Tuesday that its daily figures will...
china, asymptomatic, carriers, cases
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2020-00-31
Tuesday, 31 March 2020 11:00 AM
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