Asymptomatic Covid-19 positive individuals don't have potential to infect others — health DG

PUTRAJAYA (June 1): Covid-19 positive individuals who are asymptomatic do not have the potential to infect others because they have a low “virus load” compared to those who are symptomatic, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pictured).

He, however, said infectivity could occur two days before the affected individual showed symptoms.

“So, we need to differentiate that the ones without symptoms do not have any problems as there’s no infectivity. But we found that those with symptoms and two days before having those symptoms they could infect others,” he said at the daily press conference on Covid-19 yesterday.

He said that the first week of being symptomatic was when the virus was active enough to infect others, but if the individual was isolated for between eight and 10 days, or 14 days as is being done by the government now, the infectivity rate can be reduced to almost zero.

“As for those who are asymptomatic, perhaps they won’t be able to infect others within 14 days. But infection can happen two days before the symptomatic period. So, if we can isolate them we can break the Covid-19 chain of transmission,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said that tomorrow the Ministry of Health (MOH) would share its model regarding the projection for Covid-19 cases in the last one month, today and in the future.

“So for cases involving Malaysians, we found there was adherence to standard operating procedure (SOP) and when we comply with the SOP, it means the R-nought (RO) is less than 0.3%. (RO refers to the infectivity rate).

“But for non-Malaysians, if we minus the immigration detention depot and import cases, we find the RO is still about 0.3% and we are still monitoring daily the development among Malaysians and non-Malaysians,” he said. 

He said what was important was for the MOH to focus on non-Malaysians so that they too complied with the SOP.

However, he said several constraints needed to be focused on, such as accommodation and environment of the foreigners, while employers also needed to play their role in ensuring the foreign workers complied with government directives as well as to take preventive measures and maintain cleanliness.

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