At least half of Singapore’s newly discovered coronavirus cases show no symptoms, the co-head of the government’s virus task force said on Monday, reinforcing the city-state’s decision to ease lockdown restrictions very gradually.
Singapore has one of the highest infection tallies in Asia, with more than 38,000 cases, because of mass outbreaks in dormitories for its migrant workers. It reopened schools and some businesses last week after a near two-month lockdown.
“Based on our experience, for every symptomatic case you would have at least one asymptomatic case,” Lawrence Wong told Reuters, adding that the discovery was made in recent weeks as Singapore stepped up testing.
Singapore has not previously disclosed how many asymptomatic cases it has recorded.
Mr Wong did not reveal the number of asymptomatic cases in Singapore, which has recorded 6,294 virus infections over the last two weeks, with the vast majority among migrant workers.
China said 300 symptomless Covid-19 carriers in its central city of Wuhan, the pandemic epicentre, had not been found to be infectious. But some experts say asymptomatic infections are common, making for a huge challenge in controlling the disease.