- It appears the data on COVID-19 is far from perfect as a new study has revealed the current scale of the pandemic may be over-estimated
- This is because the main test used to diagnose coronavirus is so sensitive it could be picking up fragments of dead virus from old infections
- According to the study, people could test positive weeks afterwards even though they are only infectious for about a week after contracting the virus
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There are indications that COVID-19 patients are less likely to infect others after the first week of contracting the disease.
According to a BBC report, a new study found that the standard diagnosis coronavirus is so sensitive it could be picking up fragments of dead virus from old infections.
The study showed that most people are infectious only for about a week, but could test positive weeks afterwards.
Researchers believe this could be leading to an over-estimate of the current scale of the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed many lives.
Carl Heneghan, one of the study’s authors, said detection of traces of old virus could explain to an extent why the number of cases keeps rising while hospital admissions remain stable.
Prof Heneghan, the academic who spotted a quirk in how deaths were being recorded, which led Public Health England to reform its system, was quoted as saying coronavirus "infectivity appears to decline after about a week".
Heneghan is suggesting that instead of the test resulting in a yes/no diagnosis, it should have “a cut-off point so that very small amounts of virus do not trigger a positive result”.
According to him, this could possibly reduce the likelihood of false-positive results.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted a lot of activities across the world and a lot of countries have gone into recession.
In Nigeria, the government is doing all it can to curb the spread of the virus which as of Friday, September 4, has officially infected 54,743 persons in the country. A total number of 42,816 cases have been discharged while 1,051 deaths have been recorded.
Following the federal government's adjustments to the nationwide curfew due to the coronavirus pandemic, President Muhammadu Buhari also extended the lifespan of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to December.
Meanwhile, Russia has delivered samples of its COVID-19 vaccine to the Nigerian government. The samples were delivered by the Russian ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin to the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire.
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