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We got a doctor to share what recovering from covid-19 actually entails

Published on:18 July 2020, 14:41pm IST
The rising number of covid-19 cases also come with a surge in recoveries. But is recovering from the SARS-CoV-2 that easy or simple as stats make it out to be? Let’s find out
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Recovering from covid-19 isn’t as simple as it seems. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

If the last few months have been inundated with news on the rising number of covid-19 cases in India, then these stats have also come with the number of recoveries. And that folks is the good news about this pandemic. 

According to the Ministry of Health, as of 17th June 2020 there were 3,42,473 active cases in India and close to double (6,35,756 people) had recovered. 

In fact, many people in India have recovered from the disease and are now sharing their stories. That said, for some the meaning of health has completely changed post-covid-19, because it is not just the virus that attacks the body but also a social stigma around the disease that plagues the mind. 

That’s why we got Dr Manjusha Agarwal, consultant internal medicine at Global Hospital, Mumbai, to shed some light on the recovery process.

“More than physical it is the mental aspect that hampers a patient’s confidence during covid-19 and that’s why a lot of counseling is required to calm him/her down,” says Dr Agarwal.

How much time does a person take to recover from covid-19?
This timing totally depends on the severity of the case. According to Dr Agarwal after discharge, a follow-up is required after 15 days. Apart from that, she says:

In almost 80% cases mild symptoms are witnessed and they usually don’t take that much time to recover. But in severe cases, it might take around a month’s time for proper recovery and only then such patients are discharged from the hospital.

When will the person know that he/she has fully recovered?
According to Dr Agarwal the patient is only sent back to home when they are almost or 90% recovered from covid-19. The patient is asked to stay home quarantined for seven to 10 days and after that s/he can freely move in the house. Although, meeting with friends and other relatives are still prohibited. 

What happens while recovering from covid-19?
During recovery there are a few things which are seen among the patients:

1. Weakness
2. Breathlessness
3. Weight loss of around 4 to 5 kilos
4. Loss in appetite
5. Sleeplessness
6. Stress

“The major problem is covid-19 stress and it prevails for quite some time. Patients are always anxious about things like whether they can relapse, will life get back to normal, or if they can still spread the virus even after recovery. Patients also complain of sleeplessness. Covid- 19 is more of a mental assault on their brain,” she explains.

mental health
Stress might haunt you even after recovering from covid-19.  Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Gastrointestinal problems and loose motions are also seen in certain cases,” Dr Agarwal adds. 

Are there any precautions a person has to take?
She suggests that a seven-day home quarantine period is a must and during that time the person should not even meet their family, especially kids and elderly. 

What can help with faster recovery from covid-19?
This is what Dr Agarwal suggests: 

1. A good protein diet
2. No junk and spicy food
3. Protein supplements
4. Using a spirometer at home respiratory exercises
5. Try pranayam
6. Mild physical activity, like walking at home

Mental health is that one thing that you need to take care of and remember not to panic as now you have developed antibodies and your chances of getting covid-19 are slim,” she concludes. 

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.