6:39 pm, June 11, 2020.
(Updated at 11:22 p.m., June 11, 2020)
Health Minister Matt Hancock said up to 80% of people who test positive for coronavirus in the UK have no symptoms.
According to the Office for National (ONS), published last week, 71% of people who tested positive for coronavirus showed no symptoms.
At the daily government meeting, however, Hancock suggested that the number of asymptomatic cases could be higher.
The health minister said: "The answer is yes, there are some people who have no symptoms but have the virus.
"And in fact, in the ONS study, we find that about 70-80% of people who test positive have no symptoms.
"This is a fairly significant finding and one of the most important things about this disease, just as asymptomatic transmission is one of the things that make this disease really difficult to control and new to any coronavirus, and one of the things that does it difficult. "
Around 20,000 households were invited to participate in the ONS study, and so far almost half of the households have provided at least one swab for testing.
There has been much debate about how much asymptomatic COVID-19 patients contribute to the spread of the virus.
A scientist from the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday that it was "very rare" for people without symptoms to pass the disease on, but later emphasized that this was based on a relatively small series of studies.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said this evidence came from countries that had "detailed contact tracking".
WHO officials said in a briefing on Tuesday that there is "much unknown" when it comes to asymptomatic transmission.
Mr. Hancock said that the ONS results highlighted the importance of individuals who adhere to self-isolation under the test and trace scheme, even if they show no symptoms.
"They isolate what breaks the chain for the period that they would be contagious," he said.
"This is why 14-day isolation is so important to stop the virus from spreading."
He also told the public that it was their "civic duty" to abide by the system.
"Test and Trace is our radar. You have to play your part," he said.
Another 151 people in the UK died after being tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, according to the Department of Health.
This brings the total number of deaths in the UK to 41,279.
(tagsToTranslate) News – Coronavirus: Up to 80% diagnosed with COVID-19 have no symptoms (t), says the Minister of Health