According to India’s health ministry, India’s recovery rate of Covid-19 cases currently is over 59.5%, with close to 3.6 lakh of the over 6 lakh cases have been recovered.
The recoveries however, also include those who may not have been fully recovered but have been discharged which may also be the reason for the improving recovery rate.
Uttar Pradesh, for example, in the last 21 days has seen its recovery rate shoot up by almost 9 percentage points, from 60.32% on June 11 to 69.1% on Thursday, with 16,629 people of the total 24,056 people infected with Covid-19 so far having recovered, or discharged.
Part of the reason is also because the state changed its discharge policy last month, wherein patients who are asymptomatic are being discharged after 10 days without the second mandatory second test coming negative. They are then required to be in home quarantine for a period of seven days.
The state changed its discharged policy based on the revised guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which allows patients showing mild or very mild symptoms to be discharged after 10 days of symptom onset and no fever for 3 days without the need for testing prior to discharge.
The guidelines also state that the patient will be advised to isolate himself or herself at home and self-monitor their health for further 7 days. That however, could result in patients who are still not fully recovered inter-mingling with healthy people, raising the possibility of the spread of Covid-19 in hitherto healthy people, which even medical experts have cautioned about.
Not just this, people in many countries are getting re-infected. Even the earliest patients who recovered in China got re-infected only a few months ago. This is scary because there is not enough data to analyse the long-term effects of COVID-19.
On June 14, a nurse working in Atlanta, US, posted a tweet saying:
When they say ‘recovered’ they don’t tell you that that means you may need a lung transplant. Or that you may come back with a massive heart attack or stroke COVID makes.
Once discharged, patients go home with a discharge slip from a hospital, feeling relieved but without an inkling how their health condition may unfold in coming weeks and months due to the coronavirus infection they just survived.
According to the World Health Organisation, critical cases may take up to 6 weeks for recovery. Standard COVID-19 protocol says an average patient recovers in two weeks and can be discharged.