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Monday, July 06, 2020

Key to Covid fight: Recovery rate almost 60%

Behind trend, change in Health Ministry guidelines for mild and pre-symptomatic cases, more testing.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: June 25, 2020 3:58:18 am
Coronavirus infection spread to 13 new sectors in Chandigarh this month Of the 41,437 patients who have recovered so far, 48% did so in the past week.

Ten days ago, when the national recovery rate was over 50%, Delhi was struggling — on June 11, the city’s recovery rate dropped to 37% from close to 50% a few days ago. On Wednesday though, the capital’s recovery rate was 58.8%, marginally above the national rate of 56.7%.

Delhi first hit the 2,000-plus daily case mark on July 12. Since then, except on two days, the number has remained above 2,000, and has been consistently hitting the 3,000-plus figure for the past five days.

But the number of patients that have recovered has also climbed steadily. Of the 41,437 patients who have recovered so far, 48% did so in the past week. The biggest jump in this number was seen on June 20, when Delhi government data shows 7,725 people recovered in a single day.

Among the reasons for this increase is the change in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare guidelines for mild or pre-symptomatic cases. The ministry said that such people, who are admitted in Covid care centres, can be discharged after “10 days of symptom onset and no fever for three days”. The patient is then advised to isolate at home for 7 days.

On Wednesday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that while the number of cases in Delhi has risen over the past few weeks, the number of people requiring hospitalisation has not gone up by as much.

“On Tuesday, there were 6,200 people in hospitals. The number is more or less the same today. Delhi has seen 4,000 new cases in 24 hours but the number of beds occupied is about the same. This means two things — one that corona in Delhi is not very severe. People are being infected and are recovering at home. It also says that the number of people going back from hospitals is about the same as those being admitted,” he said.

Experts believe that one of the factors that might be leading to the high recovery and low hospitalisation rates is the amount of testing underway in the capital.

“As Delhi detects more cases, the number that is mild or asymptomatic also seems to be going up. Since the testing pool is wider now, there will be more people who are asymptomatic and recovering quickly. Also, many people who tested positive earlier have completed 14 days in isolation and recovered. We are still not testing a lot of asymptomatic people but the numbers are higher in Delhi,” said Dr Shobha Broor, former head of the microbiology department at AIIMS.

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