WHO reverts statement regarding asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19

In the wake of the surging cases of COVID-19 across the globe, the World Health Organization has rolled back its earlier assertion that transmission of COVID-19 by asymptomatic patients is “very rare”.

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, Head of WHO’s Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis unit, said on June 9 that the earlier assertion made in the WHO briefing on June 8 was based on just two or three studies and that it was a “misunderstanding” to say asymptomatic transmission is rare globally.

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said, “I was just responding to a question, I wasn’t stating a policy of W.H.O. or anything like that.” She added, “And in that, I used the phrase ‘very rare’, and I think that that’s misunderstanding to state that asymptomatic transmission globally is very rare. I was referring to a small subset of studies.”

An asymptomatic patient is someone who has been tested positive for COVID-19 and who doesn’t have symptoms and never develops symptoms.

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