Amid the air of pessimism that is keeping the country in its clutches, Bihar has some good news to share. The state has shown a remarkable progress in the treatment of COVID-19 patients – of the total 86 COVID-19 cases reported from the state so far (till April 18), 42 patients have fully recovered and returned home. This has put the COVID-19 recovery rate of the state at 48.83 per cent.
The recovery rate has come as a morale booster for doctors engaged in treatment of coronavirus patients at various government hospitals across the state.
The first COVID-19 case in the state was reported on March 22 and since then 86 cases have been reported in the past 27 days. According to available statistics, an average of 375 tests are being conducted every day against which three are being tested positive.
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According to a latest report of the Bihar health department, a total of 10,130 tests have been conducted so far in six laboratories in the states. Incidentally states like Tamil Nadu have conducted more than twice the number of tests. In Tamil Nadu, 35,306 samples have been taken as on April 18 and 29,997 individuals have been tested.
Secret in local genes
So how did the state achieve the incredible task? Among the four reasons listed out by Ajay Kumar Sinha, nodal officer of Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH), one definitely raised many an eyebrow – a higher immunity level among patients from the state.
“Early detection of cases, timely administration of medicines, younger patients and the fact that the immunity level of people from the state is relatively higher helped us achieve the said recovery rate,” Sinha said.
The NMCH is a prominent Patna-based government hospital which has been converted into a dedicated medical facility for coronavirus patients.
“Initially, we were terrified after reading about the impact of the disease in other countries, but the tremendous recovery rate of our patients has boosted our confidence,” Sinha said.
Will power key to cure
Even as the entire medical fraternity is on its toes round the clock, Sinha says psychological counselling of patients have made their task easier.
Many patients interviewed by this correspondent said they were able to defeat COVID-19 due to sheer grit and determination while strictly following the advice of doctors.
“I had heard about the deadly nature of the disease, and was shaken when I tested positive for it. But never during the treatment did I lose heart and instead tried to keep my morale high. I told myself that there is nothing to fear about—‘sardi-khansi to sabko hota hai’ (everyone gets a cough and cold). Thank God, I am fit now and happy to return to my family,” said Pappu, who was being treated at NMCH.
Pappu, who worked as a carpenter in Dubai had returned to Bihar on March 21 and was fine until he reached Lucknow. He caught a cold on the way home and was diagnosed with COVID-19 after taking a test.
Another youth from the state who has conquered the deadly virus is Amit Kumar, a 23-year-old resident of Siwan.
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Amit worked at a private hospital in Munger and contracted the disease from a COVID-19 patient named Saif Ali who was initially admitted to the hospital. Ali, 38, succumbed to the disease at Patna’s All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) last month. But Amit was determined to live.
“COVID-19 should not fear the disease. It is rather important to be determined to get cured and follow the advice of doctors,” he said.
Amit’s wife contracted the disease from him and is still at the hospital. “I try to boost up her morale whenever I speak to her over the phone. Coronavirus is not invincible, I tell her,” he said.
More amusing was the story of 36-year-old Mohammad Fayyaz Alam, who flew to India to get married but ended up in a coronavirus facility, only to be cured by love.
Alam who is employed as a mechanical engineer in an Abu Dhabi firm reached his village in Nalanda district last month with his wedding slated for April 6.
“On April 1, just days before the wedding, I tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be admitted to the NMCH. Although initially I felt lonely, I spent most of time chatting with my fiancée over the phone. This ended my loneliness and I eventually overcame the disease. The doctors at the facility kept boosting my morale and asked me not to lose heart,” Alam said.
Good mood, an immunity booster
Health practitioners and doctors engaged in treating COVID-19 patients say a good mood plays a key role in defeating the disease as it keeps the patient stress free and helps in boosting his/her immunity.
“The immune system of a patient works better and cures him fast if he is happy and in good humour,” said Dr Asim Kumar Das, deputy superintendent of Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, Bhagalpur, another government hospital dedicated to treating COVID-19 cases.
On the other hand, the battle may become difficult to win if the patient sinks into depression, Das says.
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“There are faint chances of recovery for a patient who is in depressed mood,” he added.
Of the total 86 cases reported from the state, Siwan district remains on top with 29 cases, followed by 17 from Munger, nine from Begusarai, seven from Nalanda, six from Patna, five from Gaya, three each from Gopalganj and Nawada, two form Buxur and one each from Lakhisarai and Vaishali.