Asymptomatic patients can still transmit COVID-19: Task force

 The COVID-19 Handling Task Force drew attention to the crucial aspect that asymptomatic COVID-19 patients, or those experiencing no symptoms, can still transmit the virus to others.

"This means that people, who appear healthy, are not necessarily free from COVID-19 infection," spokesperson for the COVID-19 Handling Task Force Wiku Adisasmito noted in an online press conference here on Thursday.

Citing studies in China, Adisasmito remarked that asymptomatic COVID-19 patients can account for about 24 percent of the overall transmission that occurs in the population.

To this end, he urged the community to stay disciplined in implementing health protocols comprehensively, both for healthy and sick people.

"The most important aspect is to be cautious," he stressed.

Adisasmito noted that the other strategy that can be adopted to tackle massive transmission, including from asymptomatic patients, is to increase the close contact tracing ratio.

The spokesperson deems the effort necessary since no technology can as yet measure whether asymptomatic patients are more contagious than those experiencing symptoms.

"Testing methods, such as PCR, which can measure one's CT value, helps to only identify the presence of the virus within the person's body and not the amount of virus that can be transmitted from that person to other people," he explained.

Adisasmito stated that the next strategy to prevent virus transmission is conducting active surveillance, especially in areas with a higher risk of virus transmissions, such as hospitals, offices, and schools.

The other area of focus is prioritizing the acceleration of vaccination for vulnerable groups, such as older adults, people with comorbidities, and unvaccinated people, to reduce the high risk of mortality.

The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Indonesia in March 2020. According to the task force data, as of February 10, 2022, Indonesia had recorded a total of 4,667,554 COVID-19 cases, 4,234,510 recoveries, and 144,858 deaths.

The Ministry of Health detected the first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Indonesia on December 15, 2021. With the spread of the new variant, Indonesia has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases.  []

Source: Antara

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