Health, Asia - Pacific, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

'14-day quarantine not enough for COVID-19 patients'

Thai virologist says patients need to remain in isolation for at least 4 weeks

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 21.08.2020
'14-day quarantine not enough for COVID-19 patients'

ANKARA

An expert virologist in Thailand has said a 14-day quarantine period is not enough to ensure full recovery from COVID-19.

He suggested that people need to self-isolate for another 14 days -- meaning almost a month -- to be sure the virus is gone.

Professor Yong Poovorawan of Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University said he has studied 212 COVID-19 cases and outlined four points in a Facebook post on Thursday.

“I found 6.6% of them showed symptoms four to 12 weeks after they were allowed to return home,” he said.

“We found a virus after 36-105 days of symptoms, but very weak so the possibility of spreading the disease to others is very low.”

He said the “hatching range” of most COVID-19 cases is two to seven days. “It may be found up to 14 days and it may be less than 21 days,” said Poovorawan, who is a medical professor in pediatric hepatology, viral hepatitis and virology.

“Therefore, those who have undergone 14-day isolation should stay under quarantine at home for another 14 days to increase confidence in prevention of disease spread,” he said, adding that detection of COVID-19 after 14 days is “possible in patients.”

On the COVID-19 situation in Thailand, he said there is “limited possibility” of infection in the country as “no case has been found for over 80 days.”

Thailand has reported 3,390 coronavirus cases and 58 deaths so far, with the government having extended a health emergency for another month until Sept. 30.

“There is a possibility that some patients have been infected from overseas, and they may carry a small amount of genetic viral material that is difficult to detect,” he said.

“After patients arrive in Thailand, they may test negative at first but turn positive later as was seen at the start of the outbreak.”

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