More than 50 percent of coronavirus cases in South Africa are asymptomatic, says Oxford vaccine trial official

“The majority of Covid-19 infections are going unnoticed,” said Dr Shabir Mahdi, who is heading the University of Oxford’s vaccine trials in South Africa.

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Of all adults infected with Covid-19 in South Africa, 50 to 66 per cent are asymptomatic cases, with many infections going undetected, a health official has claimed.The coronavirus, which first emerged in China’s Wuhan city, has claimed 3,860 lives in South Africa with over 2,50,000 confirmed cases.

“The majority of Covid-19 infections are going unnoticed,” said Dr Shabir Mahdi, who is heading the University of Oxford’s vaccine trials in South Africa.In an interview with CNBC on Friday, Mahdi said the high number of asymptomatic cases was causing difficulties in vaccine trials.

The enrolment process has shown that far more people are asymptomatic than what was previously believed, Mahdi said.He estimated that only about 10 per cent of all Covid-19 cases are being officially reported.Mahdi said around 80 per cent of all children who are infected are asymptomatic.

 

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