Coronavirus : Update 5 from the Epicenter
As the days and weeks pass, the number of people who have recovered from the virus will become significant.
Today in Italy, that number is 2,749 : 56% of all closed cases, but this will normalize out to a number greater that 95% as seen in China :
1. Clinically recovered : when a patient no longer exhibits symptoms of the virus (fever, sore throat, difficulty breathing, etc). It’s possible that a clinically recovered patient will still test positive for the virus.
2. Recovered : when a patient is no longer symptomatic and results negative for the virus in two subsequent tests performed 24 hours apart.
3. RNA Elimination : when a molecular test shows that the virus has been completely eliminated from the body of the patient. This is normally accompanied by the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Again, a second test with negative results 24 hours after the first is necessary to confirm full viral recovery.
My question is : when can the recovered come out of quarantine? With the same number of people in lockdown as Wuhan, Italy is likely to match China’s 70k+ recovered patients. Add to this the untested 20 to 50 year olds who were infected and who will recover without exhibiting symptoms and there will be perhaps a quarter of a million people with immunity that could make the difference – shopping for the elderly, caring for the sick, running essential services, resuming business travel…
Most countries are just entering the tunnel now, and testing is essential to combat the spread of the disease, but in a few weeks that same testing apparatus will help us identify the first wave of survivors able to bring our economies back to life.