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Jun 23, 2020

DHS Explains What it Means to be COVID-19 Asymptomatic

Marvin Manzanero

As you’ve been hearing in recent positive cases in Belize, they have been identified as asymptomatic. Today, Doctor Marvin Manzanero highlighted what this means – essentially these positive persons may not be showing any obvious signs of illness but they can still spread the virus. Here’s how he explains it.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“Asymptomatic would be somebody who doesn’t have any signs or symptoms; which means no fever; no respiratory symptoms or no other symptoms. That is what it means when you are asymptomatic. But people are saying the last five were asymptomatic – well, we picked them up precisely through the process we have established. But go back to the first eighteen cases we had and recall that fourteen of those never required any hospital care. So, the majority of them were asymptomatic. Which means you only picked them up because you were looking for them not because they had any sign or symptom. Again, when you look at the literature, it will tell you that up to eighty percent of the population can be asymptomatic. But that doesn’t mean you minimize COVID-19 because you are having a greater percent of the population asymptomatic. Because asymptomatic people can still pass on the virus and it also tells you that not everybody reacts to the virus in the same way, shape or form. So, some populations may be more vulnerable; more susceptible and can wind up being in a hospital. Two people did die from complications. But it doesn’t mean that you minimize or take the asymptomatic cases for granted. You need to capture them; identify them; isolate them so that you can contain further spread.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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