Covid-19: No evidence that recovered patients can be re-infected, says deputy minister

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said there is no evidence that individuals who have recovered from the Covid-19 infection can be re-infected. ― Picture by Farhan Najib
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said there is no evidence that individuals who have recovered from the Covid-19 infection can be re-infected. ― Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, Jan 15 — There is no evidence that individuals who have recovered from the Covid-19 infection can be re-infected, said Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.

He said normally any individual who recovers from a viral infection will have immunity against that virus.

“It is feared that a re-infection can occur, but so far there is no evidence this can happen. Usually, after a viral infection it is rare to get a secondary infection by the same virus because we are protected by the immunity created.

“In China, for example, doctors use blood plasma of patients who have recovered (from Covid-19) to treat seriously ill people, but we need data to know whether it works or not,” he told reporters after handing over school security monitoring equipment, here today.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail announced that so far seven individuals infected by Covid-19 have recovered and were allowed to return home.

In addition, Dr Lee advised the public to avoid stigmatising those arriving from China or those having had contact with confirmed Covid-19 positive cases because anxiety over the matter will only interfere with daily life.

The Health Ministry has taken appropriate action including isolating those arriving from China for two weeks if they displayed any symptoms of the infection and if there are no symptoms, the risk of transmission of Covid-19 is very low.

“The ministry will also screen those in contact with Covid-19 patients to ensure that they do not infect anyone. When the (test) is negative, the risk of them being the cause of the disease is relatively low. So don’t be too scared and stigmatise those who come in contact with or who are returning from China,” Dr Lee said.

At the event, Dr Lee, who is also Gopeng Member of Parliament presented contributions by the Perak Computer and Digital Association among them closed-circuit cameras to 25 schools and charities. — Bernama

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