|Photo : REUTERS/Edgar Su|
A new study conducted by researchers from Singapore found that patients who tested positive with the coronavirus stop infecting others after 11 days.
According to The Daily Mail, scientists have discovered that a person who contracted the virus becomes contagious within about two days before symptoms show. And they continue to have the risk of infecting others between 7 and 10 days after showing symptoms of the disease, which include a high fever, continuous cough, and difficulty breathing.
Medical workers prepare to perform a nose swab on a migrant worker at a dormitory, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore May 15, 2020.
Researchers from the National Center for Infectious Diseases and the Academy of Medicine in Singapore examined 73 COVID-19 patients. However, they said that coronavirus "could not be isolated or cultured after day 11'" of contracting the illness.
Meanwhile, coronavirus tests that gave positive results for patients who still show symptoms even after two weeks could be picking up segments of the virus that cannot infect others.
"Based on the accumulated data since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the infectious period of [coronavirus] in symptomatic individuals may begin around two days before the onset of symptoms, and persists for about seven to ten days after the onset of symptoms," the researchers wrote. They added that active viral reproduction quickly drops after the first week while the viable virus cannot be found after the second week.
Claims patients with Coronavirus stop infecting others after 11 days; Study could ease hospitals
This research was released just as hospitals and other healthcare facilities find themselves packed with COVID-19 patients who are currently being treated, as well as those who have recovered but are still waiting for confirmatory results.
Based on the World Health Organization recommendations, symptomatic patients need to get negative results in two consecutive coronavirus tests before they can be sent home. They would then undergo another 14 days of strict self-isolation before they are perceived as fully recovered. Scientists hope that their research could help health authorities and medical staff when to send home COVID-19 patients who are admitted to hospitals.
This could be true in England where hospital admissions have dropped to just about 9,000 as of May 16. This figure was half of the admission rate at the height of the health crisis at around 19,000 a few weeks ago, according to NHS chief executive Simon Stevens as reported by the Mirror.
While admissions are now falling to only 2,000 per week, Stevens warned that there is still a "difficult path ahead" of England. The health chief described the COVID-19 pandemic as the biggest test faced by the National Health Services during its entire 71-year history. He also commended the "hard work and careful preparation" of the health ministry, and the government as a whole, as well as the cooperation of the public that prevented the NHS from collapsing. Stevens is among the 260,000 Britons who contracted the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed on Sunday's daily press briefing that England's daily death figure is the lowest since the lockdown began on March 23. The UK reported an additional 118 coronavirus deaths, which is 30% lower than last week's 170. The total death toll is now at 36,793.
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