FAQ: What Are Post-COVID Clinics? What Services Do They Offer?

As part of the effort to control the pandemic, several hospitals are setting up post-COVID clinics. What are they?

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As part of the effort to control the pandemic, several hospitals are setting up post-COVID clinics. What are they?
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Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the coronavirus threat is showing no signs of dying down in India yet, with a huge number of positive cases being reported everyday in the country even now.

Fatality Rate. With 1.93 percent as of 16 August, India has one of the lowest mortality rates, globally. Meanwhile, the Recovery Rate has been going up steadily, to stand at nearly 72 percent on 16 August as well.

As part of the effort to control the pandemic, several hospitals are setting up post-COVID clinics. What are they and what services do they offer? Read on.

What are post-COVID clinics?

A post-COVID clinic is one which analyses patients who are experiencing a re-emergence of COVID-19 symptoms after having recovered from the infection.

Wait, is it possible to get COVID-19 twice?

There have been multiple reports of re-infection in many people who had seemingly recovered from the disease, leaving scientists trying to understand the reason behind the same.

While false positives, false negatives and fragments of the virus remaining in the body have been cazwn to the fact that a study has found a steep drop in antibody levels in patients three months after recovering from COVID-19. It seems that while re-infection is possible, it is not a likely scenario, but there is not enough knowledge about this yet.

What did CDC think about this?

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States said that while there are no confirmed reports to date of a person being reinfected with COVID-19 within three months of the initial infection, they added that additional research is ongoing on this issue.

This means that if a person who has recovered from COVID-19 experiences new symptoms of COVID-19, he/she may need an evaluation for re-infection, especially if they have come into close contact with someone infected with COVID-19.

According to them, there is not enough known at the moment about whether someone can be re-infected with COVID-19.

What does WHO have to say about this?

The World Health Organisation does not say that having antibodies is a guarantee to being immune to reinfection. According to the WHO, there is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.

What do I if I think I have COVID-19 again?

Post-COVID clinics are being set up for exactly this purpose to deal with patients who are experiencing a return of the symptoms. The medical director of a Delhi government-run hospital was quoted as saying that they have received calls from patients who had recovered from coronavirus but have reported symptoms again, such as low saturation levels or breathlessness.

What will the clinics do?

According to Dr BL Sherwal, medical director of the Delhi government-run Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, at the clinic, they will be undertaking CT scan of the lungs as well as other tests to see whether the healing process is different in different patients, the symptoms and why it is re-emerging.

Where are these post-COVID clinics?

Delhi’s Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital will soon be starting a post-COVID clinic, likely this week.

What if I don’t have symptoms again but am having difficulties after recovering from COVID-19?

Some hospitals have also set up a different kind of post-COVID clinic, which will provide care and supportive treatment for those who have recovered from infection. At these clinics, survivors suffering from cardiac and psychological issues will get consultations from senior doctors as well as supportive advice from physiotherapists and nutritionists, which will enable them to resume normal life at the earliest.

Where are these services available?

Fortis Hospital Noida offers a post-COVID care clinic, launched on 7 August. Similarly, the Bangalore Medical College of Research Institute (BMCRI) at the Victoria hospital campus is also reportedly going to start a post-COVID-19 care clinic. These services are available to all COVID survivors regardless of whether they had been in home quarantine or admitted to a COVID ward etc.

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