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14% of patients who recovered from Covid-19 test positive again in Guangdong: Report

GUANGDONG (China) — Around 14 per cent of patients who recovered from the Covid-19 virus and were discharged from hospitals in China's Guangdong province tested positive again in later check-ups, reported Chinese media outlet Caixin.

14% of patients who recovered from Covid-19 test positive again in Guangdong: Report

Medical staff treat patients infected by the Covid-19 coronavirus at a hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province.

GUANGDONG (China) — Around 14 per cent of patients who recovered from the Covid-19 virus and were discharged from hospitals in China's Guangdong province tested positive again in later check-ups, reported Chinese media outlet Caixin.

In a briefing on Tuesday (Feb 25), Dr Song Tie, deputy director of the Guangdong Centre of Disease Control and Prevention, reportedly said there is no clear conclusion on why this happens and whether such patients could still be infectious.

According to Caixin, Dr Song said that from preliminary assessments, experts believe these patients were still recovering from lung infections and were not yet fully healthy.

At the same briefing, Dr Li Yueping from the Guangzhou No.8 People's Hospital in Guangdong province reportedly said the hospital had found 13 discharged patients who tested positive again, although none showed renewed symptoms. Tests for the virus on close contacts of the patients were also negative.

Dr Cai Weiping from the same hospital reportedly said that the positive results were found using anal swabs, a method of testing that is rarely used in other parts of China.

China’s national treatment guidelines only require tests from throat or nose swabs, as the virus is believed to spread mainly through respiratory droplets, although some research has found that the virus could be transmitted through human faeces.

Dr Cai said that it is still unclear whether the virus detected in recovered patients is still active and there could be a discrepancy in the samples, reported Caixin.

Dr Song reportedly added that the patients who tested positive again would be placed under concentrated observation, and that health authorities would step up monitoring of discharged patients.

Similar cases of patients testing positive after being discharged have been reported in other parts of China.

In Wuhan, the city at the epicentre of the outbreak, authorities introduced a mandatory 14-day quarantine on Saturday for recovered patients after some tested positive after being discharged, reported the South China Morning Post.

Cases of patients testing positive for the virus after being discharged were also found in the city of Chengdu as well as Hainan province in China.

According to China’s national treatment guidelines, patients are considered to have recovered from Covid-19 and can be discharged from hospital when their throat or nose swabs are negative in two consecutive tests, when their CT scans indicate no lung lesions and when they are free from symptoms such as fever.

Discharged patients are then asked to monitor their health, limit outdoor activities and to undergo retests in the following weeks. AGENCIES

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Wuhan virus China coronavirus Covid-19

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