Originated from Wuhan city of China, COVID-19 has no reached to more than 150 countries, affecting 1.4 million people and nearly 75,000 deaths as to this day. All countries are trying their best to control its spread by imposing a lockdown and recommending social distancing. However, whenever these lockdowns and isolation periods would be lifted, coronavirus might show a flattened curve which is much likely to rise again considering the unavailability of its vaccine.
Almost all the reported cases are taken from hospital data and account for people with clear COVID-19 symptoms. However, this data does not represent people who are at their houses or not showing any symptoms despite being tested positive. The accurate representation of coronavirus cases requires asymptomatic cases and house held cases in addition to these reported cases.
A new study from the British Medical Journal, reveals a shocking truth that approximately 78% of COVID-19 positive patients do not show any symptoms. It means that most of the cases that are considered to estimate coronavirus spread are less than 30% cases and there are so many more cases that are still unreported.
A report shared by the World Health Organization (WHO) tells that nearly “80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15% are severe infections and 5% are critical infections.”
Although there is no clear indication of how this 80 % of patients didn’t show any symptom it shows a high risk of coronavirus in people who are not getting medical help because they don’t see any symptom of it.
The results of this new study are opposite to the previous studies which suggested that only a small number of patients (17.9%) from the Diamond Princess cruise from Japan were asymptomatic. It also showed that 33% in overall Japanese citizens were executed from the Chinese city of Wuhan where this pandemic started.
This new study analyzes data reported by Chinese health authorities from the 1st of April where the reported cases were all asymptomatic. It says that;
“A total of 130 of 166 new infections (78%) identified in the 24 hours to the afternoon of Wednesday, April 1 were asymptomatic.”
The only 36 cases with clear symptoms were people who traveled from abroad, says China’s National Health Commission.
This daily data on COVID-19 cases is extremely important as it tells new information regarding this pandemic. On the other side, most of the data reported worldwide are based on coronavirus positive cases that exhibit clear symptoms, tested positive and are currently seeking medical help. Presence of asymptomatic cases of coronavirus are new as a similar outbreak from the past, SARS represented all symptomatic confirmed cases.
Only the antibody testing would confirm how many people are currently suffering from COVID-19. And for overall positive cases, both symptomatic as well as, asymptomatic cases should be considered. It would give a clearer representation of the actual number of coronavirus positive cases hence affect the limiting or lifting the ban on social gatherings.
If this testing suggested that a large number of population is suffering from COVID-19 than it means there is only a small portion of the population with no symptoms of coronavirus. It might help to lift the lockdown and social distancing once the confirmed cases are treated. However, if only a small number of people have COVID-19 symptoms its suggests that social distancing and lockdown might prevail for longer unless coronavirus vaccination is available.