A patient can be discharged after 10 days of symptom onset and no fever for three days: the WHO guideline
Many of us now want to know for how long coronavirus lasts inside the body and if infected people can pass it on to others.
The virus persists inside the body for 10 to 14 days normally and a maximum of 21 days, experts said.
However, it is not unusual for someone to have the virus for more than 40 days. And here is the potential catch: being a carrier and contagious is different.
Asaduzzaman Nur, a Rajshahi resident, first tested Covid-19 positive on June 20, but it did not stop there. He got tested four times after that and each time the report came back positive.
Also, Shahadat Parvez, a Dhaka resident, tested Covid-19 positive for the first time on June 10, and his report came back positive three times after that.
"It was hard to be alone in a room for 48 days," Shahadat said, "even if I had no physical illness."
Professor Ridwanur Rahman, medicine specialist and head of the research centre at Universal Medical College, told The Business Standard: "The virus can stay inside the body for 21 days. After that, it is no longer contagious and does not spread to others."
Also, Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research Principal Scientific Officer ASM Alamgir told The Business Standard that Covid-19 persists inside the body for a maximum of 14 days. "Although the virus may last in the body after that, it will be a dead virus."
Now patients – not admitted to the hospital – are no longer being tested two times straight.
Directorate General of Health Services Spokesperson Dr Ayesha Akhter said according to the World Health Organization's guideline "if someone has been symptom-free for three days and developed their first symptoms more than 10 days prior, they are no longer considered to be infectious. That person no longer needs a second test."
However, scientists are not sure if people are infectious when they have recovered as the virus can still be detected in their bodies.
Professor Nazrul Islam former vice chancellor of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and noted virologist told The Business Standard that those who remain Covid-19 positive for more than 21 days are also carriers. "They can infect others."
"So doing a second test is urgent. Now many people, discharged from hospital, are not doing the second test and hanging out with others. They are likely to infect these people."
"Also, research is needed to understand Covid-19 persistence as it will help figure out how long someone is contagious, how long patients should stay in isolation, and even if it is possible to be re-infected," Professor Nazrul said.