Amidst the ongoing global pandemic, it is the doctors who are on the frontlines of the nation’s fight against the deadly novel Coronavirus. Dr. Neeraj Tulara, an infectious disease specialist from the Dr. LH Hiranandani hospital is one such Corona warrior who has successfully discharged a COVID-19 positive patient under his care, earning him the distinction of a ‘Corona Hero.’ Speaking about this extraordinary achievement at a time when the entire news cycle is flooded with bone chilling news about the virus, Dr. Tulara said,
"It is truly a beautiful feeling; it is always a moment of professional pride for any medical professional when their patient goes home well. In this case it was truly a phenomenal feeling as the patient was able to go home…fully recovered in just eight days’ time, he is at present recommended home quarantine for another 10 days, but otherwise it is a full-fledged recovery."
"The patient had been prescribed the standard medication course as recommended by the Government of India, which goes on for around 5-6 days. We repeated his tests on day seven and day eight, with results for the virus coming out as negative, following which it could be ascertained that the patient has completely recovered from the corona virus."
Speaking further about the patients home quarantine process, the Dr said, “The patient will have to undergo two weeks of home quarantine. To declare a COVID-19 patient negative there has to be two consecutive negative samples 24 hours apart. In the case of this patient we had taken a sample on his seventh day, which tested negative for the coronavirus and had taken one of the eighth day, which again tested negative. Following which he was sent home. However, despite the two negative samples, the patient will have to continue with his two weeks of home quarantine, just to remain on the safer side."
When asked about the possibility of a relapse Dr. Tulara said, "While there are a few medical reports which suggest that there may be a potential relapse of the virus, the evidence presented in those reports are not conclusive, so we cannot be certain of its validity. However, on a positive note, relapse of any virus is extremely rare."
Shedding some light about the medical diagnosis and how the virus is treated he said, "For all viral diseases there is a symptomatic treatment. However, in the case of Corona, a multitude of medication combinations have been tried around the globe, which decreases the multiplication potential of the virus. So, over the course of this pandemic we have found some medicines which work better to counter the virus by reducing the viral load."
Speaking about the use of ‘Hydroxychloroquine’ to treat the Coronavirus, Dr. Tulara, "As per the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Ministry of Health (MoH), there have been two medicines approved to be used in mild to moderate COVID-19 cases, the first is the common Azithromycin, used for common respiratory tract infections, the second is Hydroxychloroquine, used for ages specifically to treat rheumatoid arthritis."
"It has been discovered that the multiplication of the coronavirus significantly reduces with this medicine, thus accelerating the rate of recovery. Another medicine Chloroquine, an anti-malarial medicine, which was also in the limelight when United States President Donald Trump announced for this medicine to one of the medicine's for treating COVD-19. However, since the virus is new effective treatment is all a subject to trial and error."
When asked if the countries medical professionals are collectively confident that they will be able to tackle the Coronavirus, Dr. Tulara said, "Yes, we are absolutely confident in our ability to tackle the virus. Studying the trends of the virus, rest assured there is no need to panic. This infection is highly contagious by nature, hence the government has been taking the utmost precautions to contain the spread, hosing societies and its residents have been taking stringent measures to curb the spread of this virus."
"So, while absolute eradication is not yet a reality, large scale containment is very much a possibility. Our best course of action right now is to reduce mortality rates and ensure the safety of the immunocompromised; senior citizens and those with chronic illnesses. Patients come to us when they display symptoms of the virus, however 90% of corona patients are asymptomatic, that is a specific challenge."
"The Government of India has assigned dedicated quarantine centres for Corona positive patients, who do not require medical facilities, this has reduced significant load on hospital establishments, and out of the minority of patients who display symptoms only a miniscule percentage of them require critical care or any form of intensive treatment, where the role of the hospitals become immensely crucial. Those are the patients who need the most attention."
"The medical fraternity in India are not significantly alarmed as the number of cases in India are not very high. We hope that the rates remain at this ratio, if not lower, that way we will be able to effectively deal with the virus and effectively accommodate all COVID-19 positive patients without putting significant strain on our medical infrastructure. Like other epidemics, we should be able to fight this pandemic." Said Dr. Tulara signing off.