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Video: WHO Clarifies Position On Asymptomatic Transmission Of COVID-19
WHO clarifies position on asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19
Maria Van Kerkhove said that her words "very rarely" (regarding the asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19) do not mean "very rarely on a global scale." She noted that we still cannot objectively assess the contribution of infected people who have no symptoms to the spread of the disease.
Maria Van Kerkhove / Photo: World Health Organization / YouTube
The statement by one of the leading experts in the World Health Organization that asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 is very rare has caused outrage among many experts. On Tuesday, June 9, the agency held a Q&A briefing, which clarified its position on infection from asymptomatic carriers of the infection, CNN reports.
In response to questions posed on social media, Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO Emerging Diseases Unit, pointed to studies that show asymptomatic infections account for 40% of new cases of COVID-19. According to Van Kerkhove, she did not provide these figures, since they were obtained not by analyzing real data, but by modeling.
Van Kerkhove said her words were misunderstood and the statements she made on Monday are not the organization's official position. She clarified that the exact numbers remain unknown, but in the unpublished studies she appealed to on Monday, very few new cases are indeed associated with COVID-19 infection from people who were asymptomatic.
“Most of the infections that we know relate to transmission through droplets of the virus from people with symptoms. But there is a group of people who do not develop symptoms, and today we do not know exactly how widespread this phenomenon is,”Van Kerkhove said on Tuesday.
“I used the phrase“very rarely,”and I think it would be a misunderstanding to say that asymptomatic transmission is very rare on a global scale,” Van Kerkhove clarified on Tuesday.
The WHO expert noted that there is reliable information that people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus who do not have symptoms can infect others. “We need to better understand how many people are asymptomatic and how many of them transmit the infection to others,” she said.