Date of Publication: June 9, 2020
Source: The New York Times
Since the early stages of the pandemic there has been wide-spread concerns of asymptomatic transmission of the coronavirus. However, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead of the COVID-19 response at World Health Organization had hushed these concerns by asserting that transmission of the virus by asymptomatic individuals was very rare. But on a briefing on Monday, Dr. Van Kerkhove, stated her original comment on the rarity of asymptomatic transmission was a misunderstanding as it was based on just two or three studies available at that time. Scientists are criticizing the WHO for creating global misunderstanding on the transmission of the virus, which has had implications on public-policy in most countries across the world. This story cites a study published in April which suggests people with the coronavirus are most infectious about two days before the onset of symptoms and that about 44% of new infections are transmitted from those not showing symptoms at the time. The debate on asymptomatic transmission has surfaced now because of the highest number of cases in a single-day seen this past Sunday, with 136,00 new cases. Governments around the world have now recommended the use to face masks among the general public due to the risk of asymptomatic transmission.
Summary by: Hira Raheel