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Home / India News / Recovered Covid-19 patients not carriers: Govt

Recovered Covid-19 patients not carriers: Govt

“The recovered people do not infect others; in fact, they can be a potential source for healing..,” said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the Union health ministry.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2020 07:16 IST
Rhythma Kaul
Rhythma Kaul
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
As of now, 6,184 people have been cured in India, making for a recovery rate of 22.17%.
As of now, 6,184 people have been cured in India, making for a recovery rate of 22.17%.(Sakib Ali/HT file photo. )

Patients who recover from coronavirus disease (Covid-19) do not transmit the infection, the health ministry clarified on Monday, appealing to the people to stop discriminating against those who have fought off the disease as health-care workers engaged in treating active cases.

“The recovered people do not infect others; in fact, they can be a potential source for healing..,” said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the Union health ministry.

The official cited the fact the antibody-rich blood plasma of recovered patients was being used in experimental plasma therapy which, if it proves to be successful, can be used to treat more people ill with Covid-19.

“Sometimes lack of awareness or proper understanding can result in people experiencing fear or panic against Covid-19 patients, or frontline healthcare workers, and we start stigmatizing them. We discriminate against them; however, we must understand we have to fight the infection, not the infected or those working to protect us from getting infected,” said Agarwal.

Many people with Covid-19- like symptoms are not coming forward to access treatment because of the stigma attached to the highly infectious disease, according to doctors, while there have been reports of health-care workers being abused and shunned because they are engaged in treating patients of the disease.

Some people with flu-like symptoms are reporting to hospital when they reach a stage where they are actually gasping for breath, Randeep Guleria, director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, had earlier said.

“It is unfortunate that instead of sympathizing with these patients, we have created an environment of panic and stigma...This is a worrisome trend as it would affect the mortality rate in the long run,” Dr Guleria said..

“In the initial stages of the disease we can save lives by merely providing oxygen support; there is no need for intensive care in at least 95% of the Covid-19 cases,” he added.

Agarwal said such an attitude does not only harm the patients, but their family and even society at large.

“What is required is that we stand by these patients, and provide them adequate support. We should not fall prey to misinformation and panic. We cannot label a community or an area for spread of Covid-19. We must not target patients, healthcare or sanitary workers or police as they are working tirelessly for us. This deep-rooted issue of stigma needs to be addressed with intensive awareness campaigns,” he said.

On the high case-load in Maharashtra, the Indian state worst hit by the pandemic, Agarwal said it was {partly} because of the population density in the state. “If you look at Mumbai or Pune from where more cases are being reported, these are all densely populated areas; and we are trying our best to implement our containment strategy both in clusters and hot spots by making use of sufficient manpower for door-to-door-survey,” he said.

As of now, 6,184 people have been cured in India, making for a recovery rate of 22.17%. At least 16 districts that had cases of Covid-19 have not reported any new cases in the past 28 days. Three new districts that have been added to the list are Gondia in Maharashtra, Devangere in Karnataka and Lakhi Sarai in Bihar.

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