Covid-19 reinfection, not proven yet, says DOH

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

August 27, 2020, 8:39 am

MANILA – The possibility of patients who have recovered from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) getting reinfected has yet to be proven, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

And proving this would require “a lot of evidence,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual media forum.

"Let's not use the term ‘reinfection’ because we don't have that much evidence yet to say that it's really reinfection. Kasi po kapag naririnig ng mga tao na galing sa atin o sa media (When people hear it from us or the media), they think na ito talaga ay totoo (that this is true)," Vergeire said.

Several reports in other countries tell of anecdotes of the coronavirus striking the same person twice.

In the early weeks of the pandemic, there were reports of some people in South Korea, China, and Japan testing positive twice.

Also recently, researchers from Hong Kong reported that a 33-year-old man was infected with two distinct SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, more than four months after his first bout with the disease.

In the Philippines, Vergeire said health experts are set to study cases of presumed reinfection and would provide information to the public as soon the details are "accurate and complete."

When it comes to contracting Covid-19, she said "there is no immunity passport."

"That is really an evidence (that) was given as an announcement of international organizations or experts in the World Health Organization that there's no immunity passport. This means the antibodies we develop when we become Covid-19 positive, it doesn't last long in our bodies, so the possibility or probability to have it (Covid-19) again is always there," Vergeire said in a mix of Filipino and English. (PNA)