WHO Clarifies Statement That Asymptomatic Spread of Coronavirus Is 'Very Rare'

On Monday, health experts refuted the idea that asymptomatic cases are only causing a limited amount of spread.

“All of the best evidence suggests that people without symptoms can and do readily spread SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” scientists at the Harvard Global Health Institute said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The bottom line is this: there are people out there without symptoms who are shedding virus and spreading the disease," Dr. Ashish Jha, faculty director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said on Morning Joe Tuesday morning.

And many experts, including WHO and Van Kerkhove, emphasized that social distancing, COVID-19 testing and tracing, masks-wearing and quarantining is essential to reducing the spread.

Also on Monday, WHO announced that the number of new COVID-19 cases worldwide had hit a high, with 136,000 new infections on Sunday. The majority of the cases — three-quarters — are in just 10 countries, primarily in the Americas and South Asia, as the number of new cases in Europe continues to drop following their strict lockdowns.

Although the U.S. is continuing to lift its stay-at-home restrictions, at least 20 states have seen a recent spike in coronavirus cases, particularly Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi and the Carolinas. As of Tuesday, more than 1,970,600 Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and at least 110,960 people have died.

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