WHO says it’s very rare for asymptomatic people to pass on coronavirus

It’s very rare for someone who has coronavirus, but shows no symptoms to pass the virus on to other people. This is according to Dr Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) head of emerging diseases.

“It still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward,” she told reporters on a call. 

Dr Van Kerkhove said the weight of evidence suggested people who never develop symptoms do not play a significant role in passing on the virus.

In addition, a WHO guidance on wearing masks published last week said. “The available evidence from contact tracing reported by member states suggests that asymptomatically-infected individuals are much less likely to transmit the virus than those who develop symptoms.”

If asymptomatic carriers are not a big threat, then face masks in public become much less important because only sick people displaying symptoms should need to wear them.