An extensive search strategy (appendix p 2) was designed to retrieve all relevant articles published from December 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020, by using six databases: PubMed, Web of Science, The Cochrane Library, CNKI, WanFang and VIP. We applied no restrictions for language of publications. Studies were selected for further consideration through screening of titles, abstracts, and methods for relevance based on the selection criteria after excluding duplications. Three independent researchers (Xiangying Ren, Xiangge Ren and Jiaao Lou) screened retrieved articles and two of them reviewed each article. The same investigators independently assessed full texts of records deemed eligible for inclusion. Any discrepancies were resolved by discussion with other co-authors.

Studies were selected based on the following inclusion criteria: (1) Studies about discharged patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection whose RT-PCR test results were re-positive at any time after discharge; (2) Reported outcomes of interest included description of clinical symptoms, relevant examination results of the RP patients such as, sample types of nucleic acid test, IgG/IgM antibodies, CT imaging, contact tracing, infection ability, treatment, psychological status, prognosis, virology, risk factors of RP; (3) Original research with any type of study designs. Exclusion criteria were: (1) Patients with other serotypes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus or Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection; (2) The full texts of studies were not available.

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