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  4. COVID-19 survivors in India are a symbol of hope: WHO tells India TV | EXCLUSIVE

COVID-19 survivors in India are a symbol of hope: WHO tells India TV | EXCLUSIVE

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday acknowledged that COVID-19 survivors in India offered a "symbol a hope" amid an increasing recovery rate. According to an update published by the Ministry of Health Friday morning, at least 10386 people were cured from COVID-19 in 24 hours. Of the 380,532 who tested positive for the virus in the country, 204,711 patients have recovered so far. Nearly 54 percent of the total coronavirus cases were cured since the outbreak.

Nidhi Taneja Nidhi Taneja @nidhiindiatv
New Delhi Updated on: June 20, 2020 16:17 IST
Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Emergencies
Image Source : AP

Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Emergencies Programme

India's COVID-19 recovery rate has drawn praise from the World Health Organisation (WHO). According to an update published by the Ministry of Health Friday morning, at least 10386 people were cured from COVID-19 in 24 hours. Of the 380,532 who tested positive for the virus in the country, 204,711 patients have recovered so far. Nearly 54 percent of the total coronavirus cases were cured since the outbreak. 

Recoveries from COVID-19 is always "great news", Dr. Mike Ryan, World Health Organization's Emergencies Programme executive director said in response to a question from indiatvnews.com. He also delved upon how patients around the world struggled to reintegrate because of stigmatisation.

"It is always great news when we see people recovering from COVID-19. The recovery numbers tend to lag behind because they are very often not reported officially and it takes time for us to catch up. But what we do see in those numbers is a group of patients who are very lucky in many ways to have got through the disease...some people who have been critically ill. Also, people will need continued support. Some who have been critically ill need follow up. At the critical stage, this disease takes an awful lot of people. They need follow-up medical care, may need life support, income support," Dr. Ryan said.

"...Certainly the last thing they need is stigma. We have seen situations where patients were finding it hard to reintegrate because of stigmatisation. It is important that we see the survivors of COVID as people who've been through a lot, people who suffered, and who deserved the care and acceptance of communities as they return. Covid survivors are a symbol of hope for all our communities and we hope that in India they will provide that symbol for further efforts to control the disease"

"We are also seeing some interesting and useful therapies emerging and trying to ensure that patients who need it get medical oxygen, get access to drugs and standards of care that they deserve. So yes it is good to see that. There is nothing specific to read into recovery rates," Dr. Ryan noted. 

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's COVID-19 technical lead who was also a part of the panel, said that recoveries were a "sign of hope." Taking into account a more broader perspective, Maria also pointed out certain "lingering effects" in mild patients. 

"We are seeing a large number of recoveries and expect to continue to see that. As we look at the breakdown of severity that many countries are seeing amongst the reported case...There will be recoveries. What we are trying to do through our clinical networks and through our collaborations with clinicians and medical professionals all over the world is to understand what recovery looks like. So even in mild patients, who didnt necessarily require hospitalisation for care, they are still seeing some lingering effects. We are learning what those lingering effects look like...we are hearing people feeling quite tired for quite some time, still feeling little bit out of breath if they need to walk upstairs or up hills. So we need to understand that so we know what kind of long term care is required. Those individuals who have had severe disease, who have been on ventilation and required more advanced care, they may have some longer or more severe effects going forward," said in her response to indiatvnews.com.

"...Again, we have been working with the clinicians to find out what does rehabilitation look like among those who have recovered. The fact we are seeing so many recoveries is a sign of hope. We want to ensure that anyone who is infected with COVID receives the care that they need to prevent them from advancing to severe disease, no matter what level of disease they have....are cared for even after they recover and leave hospital," she said in her response.

According to the latest data available, a jump of 13,586 COVID-19 cases pushed the countrywide tally to 3,80,532, while the death toll stood at 12,573 with 336 new fatalities on Friday. About 1,89,997 cases, which accounts for half of the overall tally, was reported this month alone largely due rising infections in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh were among the states which registered a record daily spike on Friday.

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