Wuhan Patients Who Test Negative For Covid-19 Will Get 14 More Days Of Quarantine

Recovery from Covid-19 may be a milestone worth celebrating, but not so much for several patients in Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the outbreak.

According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), authorities in Wuhan have introduced a new compulsory 14-day quarantine for patients who have recovered.

Image courtesy of AFP

This move is following the discovery of several patients who tested positive again after being discharged from hospital.

Separate quarantine centres for recovered Covid-19 patients in Wuhan

Chinese medical experts on the Covid-19 frontline expressed concern after discovering that patients can still be contagious after recovery, reports SCMP.

Hoping to prevent the risk of contagion, they implemented the new quarantine arrangements on Saturday (22 Feb).

Since sending them home could risk infection to healthy individuals and hospitals are low on manpower, authorities have set up separate quarantine centres just for recovered patients.

Image courtesy of AFP

Patients will stay there for medical observation for 14 days after their discharge from hospital.

Patients test positive after apparent recovery

According to SCMP, a patient in Chengdu who had met the criteria for recovery left the hospital but returned 9 days later after testing positive again.

Another such case in Changde involved a woman who tested negative in 2 lab tests, only to test positive for the virus 5 days later.

Image courtesy of AFP

SCMP lists the criteria for recovery as follows:

  • Body temperature returns to normal for over 3 days
  • Significant improvement in respiratory condition
  • CAT scan of lungs showing significant improvement
  • Negative results in two nucleic acid tests at least 1 day apart

Testing positive again may not mean a relapse

The head of infectious diseases at a Guangzhou hospital stated that it was “not yet certain whether [the patients] are infectious”, reports SCMP.

He attributed the uncertainty to the fact that experts have yet to understand the virus fully.

He also added that patients who test positive again may not have relapsed, rather that they simply carry fragments of the viral gene.

Still a struggle to manage the volume of patients

As number of admissions continue to grow and resources are spread thin, hospitals in China are struggling to deal with the sheer number of patients.

Hopefully the quarantine centres to accommodate milder cases will help to relieve the strain a little bit.

As for the patients who have to sit through another 14 days of quarantine, we hope they hang tight for the good of everyone else.

We wish all patients and those in quarantine good health, speedy recoveries and that they’ll be able to return to everyday life soon enough.

Featured image adapted from AFP.