Coronavirus test swab
Coronavirus test swab iStock

A study by the National Centre for Infectious Diseases in Singapore, published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, suggests that the coronavirus is not nearly as infectious as many believe it to be.

The study, cited by the Spectator magazine, involved 1,114 cases of Covid-19 from earlier this year. Singapore's "test and trace" system located 7,700 close contacts for these people, who were then followed up over the coming weeks.

Only 188 of the contacts reportedly contracted the virus, and around a third of them were asymptomatic.

A study of the transmissions revealed that the infection rate was 5.9% among household contacts, 1.3% among work contacts, and 1.3% among social contacts.

Within households, the transmission rate was higher between people sharing a bedroom, and also higher between people who spent over half an hour in face-to-face conversation, as was the case with social and work contacts and between people who shared a vehicle.