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No proof yet that asymptomatic COVID-19 patients can infect others, says Duque

There is still no evidence to show that people positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) but do not manifest symptoms can infect others, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Wednesday as he quoted the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Duque made the comment in a Senate hearing on COVID-19 after he was asked about the Department of Health’s strategies in detecting asymptomatic people or “silent spreaders” of the respiratory disease.

“Ang WHO, hanggang ngayon po, wala po silang ulat o ebidensyang nakakalap na magpapakita na nakakahawa ang mga asymptomatic,” he said.

“To date, there has been no documented asymptomatic transmission. This does not exclude the possibility that it may occur. Asymptomatic cases have been reported as part of contact tracing efforts in some countries,” the WHO said in an April 2 report.

A study by Chinese researchers, meanwhile, found that presymptomatic COVID-19 carriers can contaminate their environments.

However, Duque admitted that it is difficult to detect asymptomatic carriers.

He explained that local authorities have been tasked with monitoring people with influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory infection.

“Hahanapin po ‘yan ng ating municipal health officers, city health officers. Sa mga bara-barangay, nakikipag-ugnayan po sila sa mga barangay health workers para tukuyin kung sino ‘yung itong mga ito,” the health chief said. -MDM, GMA News