KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 – Approximately three to 10 per cent of recovered Covid-19 patients in China have tested positive again for the virus, according to a small Wuhan study.
Tongji Hospital president Wang Wei told state broadcaster CCTV that over 3 per cent of the 147 recovered patients they studied, are now positive in nucleic acid tests again after full recovery. Coronavirus was first identified in that hospital.
“So far there is no evidence to suggest that they are infectious,” Wang said, according to SCMP.
He also added that investigations similarly showed about 80 to 90 per cent of them had no trace of the coronavirus in their blood a month after recovering.
Another local media also reported that quarantine facilities in Wuhan have found that about five to 10 per cent of their recovered patients tested positive again.
Apart from that, other media have also been reporting of similar incidents, including a family of three in Wuhan that tested positive after recovery.
In the midst of the deadly pandemic which has now seen China discharge over 90 per cent of infected people, with about 4,300 still in hospital, researchers are investigating if these patients who are positive again can infect others, or if their bodies have developed an immunity against the virus.
Doctors from Tongji hospital where the virus was discovered said that based on surveillance of family members and lab tests, there is no evidence that these patients who again tested positive became infectious.
“These are just small samples and not enough to assure us of the validity of our initial findings,” Wang said.
“We need a large-scale epidemiological study to guide our disease surveillance and prevention works.”
Wang further added that recovered patients should continue to be in isolation for 14 days so their recovery can be confirmed.
Tu Yuanchao, deputy director of Hubei health commission, previously told local media that those patients who tested positive again and have shown symptoms would be re-hospitalised and those without symptoms will be quarantined for observation for two weeks.