Up to ten percent of patients who were told they had recovered from the Chinese coronavirus tested positive again after being discharged from hospital, doctors in Wuhan, the origin city of the pandemic, revealed this week.
Researchers around the world are currently scrambling to establish if, once an individual has recovered from the coronavirus, they can still infect others with the disease and if they have developed antibodies that make them immune from further symptoms.
Doctors from the Tongji hospital in Wuhan, where the outbreak began, told the state propaganda network CCTV that despite some patients testing positive again having made a full recovery, there is so far no evidence that they remain infectious.
Observation of those who have recovered is especially important in China, where around 90 percent of patients have now been discharged from hospital and there are, the Communist Party claims, more recovered patients than new cases.
The president of Tongji hospital, Wang Wei, said in an interview with CCTV that of the 147 recovered patients they observed, just three have tested positive for the virus following recovery.
A similar study of 15 patients from the hospital also found that 80 to 90 percent of people no longer had the virus in their bloodstream one month after recovery. However, Wang warned that further study would be needed to verify his initial findings.
“So far there is no evidence to suggest that they are infectious,” said Wang, according to The South China Morning Post. “These are just small samples and not enough to assure us of the validity of our initial findings. We need a large-scale epidemiological study to guide our disease surveillance and prevention works.”
Meanwhile, Life Times, a health news outlet affiliated with the state propaganda outlet People’s Daily, alleged this week that quarantine facilities in Wuhan have reported that between five and ten percent of recovered patients tested positive again. One example included a family of three in Wuhan, who after having made full recoveries, all later tested positive again.
The disparity in results has raised questions about the reliability of using nucleic acid tests in detecting traces of the virus in some of the recovered patients. It also suggests that China’s metric for defining who is a “recovered” patient may leave the door open to future infections. It is not clear how the Communist Party defines a “cured” patient. Given the communist regime’s constant spread of lies and misinformation, experts recommend treating any data disseminated via China’s state-run media outlets skepticism.
As of Thursday morning, there were around 4,300 patients still receiving treatment in China’s hospitals, according to the Communist Party, while the total number of cases has surpassed 81,000. Of that number, at least 3,280 people have died.
The impact of the virus is escalating around the world as most countries enter some form of nationwide quarantine or lockdown. The global number of cases is rapidly closing in on half a million, with both Spain and Italy surpassing China’s Communist Party statistics in the number of fatalities.