Covid-19’s coronavirus still infectious among those without symptoms, Dr Noor Hisham clarifies

Soo Wern Jun


Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks at a press conference in Putrajaya June 1, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Patients who do not initially display symptoms of Covid-19 can still pass on its novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 to others, Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

He added that asymptomatic patients will usually show symptoms of illness after two to three days.

“This period between asymptomatic and symptomatic is called pre-symptomatic and during these two to three days, a patient who is asymptomatic can still infect another person with the virus,” he said in reply to a question during the Health Ministry’s daily media briefing in Putrajaya today.

Dr Noor Hisham was referring to news reports published yesterday where some had indicated that asymptomatic patients do not have the potential to infect others with the Covid-19 virus.

“What was written was that asymptomatic patients were not able to infect others because their virus load is low, but this is not accurate.

“Asymptomatic patients can still infect others during the two to three days pre-symptomatic as during this period their virus load is high.

“A patient will then be infectious in the next seven to eight days, after which the infection will decrease after that,” he said.


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