New Delhi: As the country approaches a dip in the number of COVID-19 cases, it has come to light that a significant proportion of deaths that occurred during the second wave of the pandemic in Bengaluru occurred around 10 days after hospitalisation.
As many as 734 deaths of the 1,855 Covid-related deaths or nearly 40 per cent of the fatalities reported between May 28 and June 3 occurred 10 or more days after hospitalisation or at the homes of patients, according to official data for COVID-19 cases and deaths from the Karnataka Health Department, data revealed, reported The Indian Express (TIE).
“Many deaths are due to post-Covid complications. Persons who are infected and in the recovery phase are dying,” Dr Shiva Kumar from the emergency unit at Victoria Hospital, a COVID-19 tertiary care facility attached to Bangalore Medical College was quoted as saying by TIE.
“If a proper retrospective study of the death cases is done then you will find that many had Covid, they were treated, they went home and again they had some problems and were brought back to the hospital and admitted to the ICU,” he was quoted as saying.
According to Dr Shiva Kumar, nearly 10 per cent of patients discharged have shown some sort of post-Covid complication. “Around 5 per cent come back to the ICU and around 1-2 per cent die,” he said.
The role of post-COVID care
This makes post-COVID care of crucial importance. The virus can cause acute myocardial injury and chronic damage to the cardiovascular system often in severe cases, because of the systemic inflammatory response, immune system disorders.
It can also be related to Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors in the heart, Dr Vittul K. Gupta, chairman of Association of Physicians of India (API), Malwa Branch told TIE in an earlier interview.
Dr Ajit Singh Chawla, a Ludhiana-based physician, and former district epidemiologist, added, “In fact, all the vital organs — like kidneys, brain, liver, lungs —get inflammatory response. Hence one needs to be in touch with their doctor once every fortnight, even after getting cured.”
Also, the heart and lungs can be kept healthy with a controlled diet, optimization of weight, regular exercises especially respiratory exercises and control of co-morbid problems, if any.