Still much to learn about new coronavirus: WHO

The UN agency has clarified information shared earlier this week, noting that there is still much to learn about the new coronavirus.

“Since early February, we have said that asymptomatic people can transmit COVID-19, but that we need more research to establish the extent of asymptomatic transmission. That research is ongoing, and we’re seeing more and more research being done”, said WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking during his latest press briefing.

“But here’s what we do know: that finding, isolating and testing people with symptoms, and tracing and quarantining their contacts, is the most critical way to stop transmission. Many countries have succeeded in suppressing transmission and controlling the virus doing exactly this.”

During the WHO briefing on Monday, epidemiologist Dr. Maria van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, answered a journalist’s question about asymptomatic transmission, stating that it was “very rare”.

Dr. van Kherkove later clarified that this was based on a few preliminary studies, and that she was trying to articulate what is known now.

“By definition, a new virus means that we’re learning as we go”, said Tedros. “We have learned a lot, but there’s still a lot we don’t know.”

He said communicating complex science in real time about a new virus is not always easy, “but we believe it’s part of our duty to the world. And we can always do better.”

(Source: UN News)

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