Asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases recover within 12-14 days: MoH

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The current recovery rate stands at 64%

On an average, asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases recover within 12 to 14 days, according to the health ministry.

The ministry confirmed that the recovery duration was observed when all the cases were managed in the hospital isolation wards following which the patients testing negative stayed mandatorily for 14 days in de-isolation.

However, the health ministry stated that with the current outbreak and taking into account more convincing scientific evidence that an infected person is not infectious by the second week, the ministry takes a little additional precaution and keeps the patients for at least 21 days.

The current recovery rate stands at 64% with 533 recovered from a total of 837 confirmed cases. Of this, 376 cases emerged since the second lockdown of which 75 have recovered.

Further, 26.5% of the cases are asymptomatic and 73.5% symptomatic.

As of yesterday, there are 303 active cases with ages ranging from two months to 84 years. Of the total active cases, 37 cases are in the hospital isolation wards and rest in the isolation facilities as all the positive cases could not be accommodated in the hospital isolation wards.

Sixteen positive patients have some co-morbidities-the majority have hypertension. The rest have diabetes, kidney diseases and four require dialysis. However, none of the patients require intensive case and oxygen support.

“Those with serious infections are managed in the isolation wards and the length of stay depends on his or her clinical progression,” said an official from the health ministry.

In an earlier interview with Business Bhutan, clinical microbiologist at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital and member of COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group, Dr Tshokey said that for asymptomatic patients,  there is no treatment provided they are kept under observation along with blood test, chest X-Rays (to assess the damage in the lungs), electrocardiogram and temperature monitoring.
However, if a patient is not able to take food, he or she is provided glucose.

For symptomatic patients with fever and cough but without other risk factors, daily monitoring is carried out to take rapid action if patient has complications.

Additionally, he said patients with underlying conditions are classified into pneumonia with risk factor and pneumonia without risk factor.

Dr Tshokey said in high risk factor, a patient may suffer from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, a respiratory failure, and may require ventilation depending upon the vulnerability of getting super infection from the COVID-19.

Super-imposed infection occurs when one gets pneumonia from COVID-19 and pneumonia from bacteria together, he added.

“Those infected from the COVID-19 many not require antibiotics but those who have super imposed infection do,” said Dr Tshokey.

The ministry estimated expenses worth Nu 18,000 in hospital isolation wards, and Nu 1,000 including daily meals and accommodation for non-hospital isolation facilities for a person each day. The ministry plans to carry out public advocacy and awareness on stigmatization that a recovered person could face upon going about daily living.

“People should exhibit solidarity in such time and be there for each other,” said the health ministry official.

Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu

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