China reported more than 1,500 asymptomatic coronavirus cases on Wednesday. This data has been released for the first time following public concern over people who have tested positive but are not showing symptoms. This also points at China failing to flatten the curve.
A case from Wuhan has also been reported, which has come from abroad. Wuhan was the epicenter from where COVID-19 emerged in December. This has also heightened fears of infections being brought into China from other countries.
On Wednesday, 36 cases were reported and out of them, 35 were imported from abroad. The National Health Commission (NHC) said asymptomatic patients were under medical observation, with 130 new cases added in the last day.
The NHC also stated that it would respond to concerns raised by the public by publishing daily data of asymptomatic cases that were infectious.
Cases come into China from abroad
The authorities over the weekend stated that an infected woman in Henan province had been in close contact with three asymptomatic cases and since then there were mass online calls for the government to reveal the number of asymptomatic cases.
However, unless asymptomatic cases show clinical symptoms; they are not being added to the official tally.
Historical data on those infected without showing symptoms has not been published.
Beijing took several measures and had announced that foreigners will not be entering China making it easier to determine those who are infected but don't show symptoms.
China says all detected asymptomatic cases and their close contacts must undergo 14-day centralized quarantine.
Asymptomatic cases are infectious
If experts are to be believed; asymptomatic patients are likely to be infectious, however, nothing is known about how responsible they are for spreading the deadly virus.
Chinese respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan had recently stated that people can be affected by asymptomatic carriers.
Many other countries, including South Korea and Japan include the number of asymptomatic cases in their national tallies of confirmed diagnoses.
China had reported 81,554 infections and about 3,312 deaths. Most of these were concentrated in the epicentre of Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province.
In another incident, New York City tested 1,400 members of the police department positive today for the coronavirus.