MNA Editorial Desk: Although 4,998 people tested positive for coronavirus from March 8 to April 25, only 113 of them or 2.26 per cent, recovered during the period, showing one of the lowest recovery rates in the world.
Health experts have attributed this to a lengthy recovery period of the disease, lower follow-up tests, weakened immune system of elderly and other people with underlying health conditions and mismanagement in treatment.
Talking to UNB, IEDCR Director Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Vice-Chancellor Prof Kanak Kanti Barua and Dhaka Medical College Prof Khan Abul Kalam Azad said there is nothing to be worried about the slow recovery rate.
They also said there is no precise time during which a coronavirus patient recovers as it could take two to six weeks depending on the severity of symptoms, age and other medical conditions of the patient.
According to the experts, Bangladesh is in a better position in COVID-19 management compared to many other countries as most patients here have mild symptoms.
According to worldometer, the global recovery rate was nearly 28.53 per cent as of April 25 while it was 7.89 per cent in Singapore, 22.04 per cent in Indian, 11.73 per cent in the USA, 42.77 per cent in Spain, 32.31 percent in Italy, 27.62 percent in France,70.65 percent in Germany and 93.4 percent in China.
Prof Flora said the lengthy recovery period is the main reason behind the poor recovery rate of coronavirus in Bangladesh.
“Those who get infected with the virus need a long time for recovery. Even after being tested negative, they might show symptoms. When we get a patient’s two consecutive test results negative after two weeks or more, we add him or her to the recovery list.” she said.
Flora said there is a positive side that most coronavirus-infected patients in Bangladesh have mild symptoms and they get rid of cough, fever, body pain and breathing problems within a week. “But it needs much time to make full recovery.”
She said usually people having mild corona symptoms need two to four weeks while people having severe symptoms need maximum six weeks to fully recover.
“The recovery of people who have pre-existing health problems and comorbidities and weakened immune system can take longer time even having mild symptoms.”
Flora said corona patients who are staying at home-quarantine should strictly maintain self-isolation, health hygiene and the advice of physicians.
Vice-Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Prof Kanak Kanti Barua said many factors like, age, pre-existing health problems, comorbidities, follow-up testing and proper care involved with the recovery of the coronavirus patients.
He said the young people who have strong immune system can recover verily quickly, even by 14 days, but the elderly people having multiple complications can take longer time.
The BSMMU VC said many patients can feel better after five-seven days. “But recovering from the coronavirus is more complicated than simply feeling better.”
He suggested all not to be worried over the longer period of recovery from the virus. “Only take antihistamine like paracetamol for the recovery. Don’t take any painkiller as it will invite a danger.”
He also suggested people having the corona symptoms to take hot water and vitamin enriched foods, fruits and vegetables. “This kind of people must remain isolated from others and stay at home all the time.”
Principal of Dhaka Medical College Prof Khan Abul Kalam Azad said the recovery rate is low as it is a time-consuming process while a small number of people were infected with the virus at the early stage.
“The number of people infected with the virus increased significantly in the country over the last two weeks. A COVID-19 patient needs to remain in quarantine for nearly two weeks and then get tested twice to check whether she/he recovered from the virus. The recovery rate will increase with the passage of time,” he observed.
Khan also said he is in doubt about the timely follow-up tests of the infected people. “We’re now mainly giving focus on identifying the new patients through expanding testing facilities. But follow-up tests should be conducted from time to time.”
“Symptoms can disappear after one week. Still, there may be small amounts of the virus in a patient’s system. So, all the COVID-19 patients should stay isolated until their two negative test reports in a row are found,” he observed.
Khan said nearly 85 per cent corona-infected people are staying at their houses as they have very mild symptoms and they will recover very soon. “Even after the recovery, patient must have limited mobility, and should stay in a separate room for a few days.”