Reports of asymptomatic COVID-19 infections will be included in the outbreak’s daily report starting on Wednesday, an official with the National Health Commission said on Tuesday at a briefing in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei province.
As of midnight on Monday, the number of asymptomatic-infected patients under medical observation was 1,541, of which 205 were imported cases, official data show.
Investigation and epidemiological analysis of patients without symptoms will be carried out based on samples from key areas of the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak, said Chang Jile, director of the commission’s Disease Prevention and Control Bureau.
The commission will strengthen work on monitoring and treating asymptomatic patients to respond to concerns from about the risk of the virus spreading from asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers, Chang said.
Infected but asymptomatic patients refer to those who have no self-perceived clinical symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat, or clinically identifiable symptoms and signs, but tested positive for the virus, according to Chang.
Non-symptomatic patients are usually found when they are put under medical observation after close contacts have been confirmed or they come back from foreign countries where the pandemic has spread. They also can be found when authorities conduct investigations, including tracking the spread of the virus, according to him.
Chang said health organizations are required to report asymptomatic patients within two hours after they are found. After the report, case investigation should be completed within 24 hours with close contacts registered.
Asymptomatic patients, including their close contacts, should be quarantined for 14 days in a designated place. They can be released from quarantine after testing negative twice when the quarantine expires, he said.
If they show clinical symptoms during quarantine, they should be transferred to designated hospitals in time for treatment, he added.