Tamil Nadu has highest recovery rate in India. How did the healthcare in state manage to achieve this?
Though Tamil Nadu stands at number two with most detected cases in India after Maharashtra, the recovery rate is highest. On Friday, as almost 861 people walked out of Covid wards recovered from coronavirus infection, the recovery tally in Tamil Nadu reached 15,762.
Tamil Nadu despite of getting high number of positive cases of coronavirus, has successfully managed to keep its recovery rate high and death rate pretty low. With more than 80,000 cases as on Saturday morning, Maharashtra has 3.4% mortality rate and 43% recovery rate. In contrast, Tamil Nadu with 28,694 cases has a mortality rate of 0.81% and recovery rate of 55%. Gujarat has the highest mortality rate of 6.21%.
How did Tamil Nadu attain a record recovery rate?
So far, Tamil Nadu has cured around 15,762 patients which accounts to more than 55% of total infected. The reason behind this success rate is the uniformity of treatment protocol across the state.
Guidelines and treatment protocol is set uniformly for all hospitals in the state by a 17 member expert committee, informed Dr. S. Ragunanthan, Head of General Medicine at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH). However, the treatment plan is tweaked according to patient’s need, left to discretion of the doctor. The protocols are regularly updated according to ICMR latest guidelines, and national and international experience-based knowledge sharing.
From triage to the treatment, all hospitals in Tamil Nadu follow a standard protocol for COVID-19 patients. The key to high recovery rate in state is being attributed to early diagnosis and intensive treatment given to patients.
On Thursday, a team of Tamil Nadu doctors presented the state’s protocols before a Central team.
Dean of RGGGH Dr. R. Jayanthi said, “At emergency, we triage patients as mild, mild to moderate, and severe cases of the infection. Treatment is simple – drugs for management of symptoms, intense monitoring of oxygen level and supplementary oxygen.”
Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an anti-malarial drug, has been the drug of choice for almost all the coronavirus patients in government hospitals, given along with combination of drugs. The primary choices include azithromycin for its antibiotic role and steroids. However, many private hospitals refrain from hydroxychloroquine administration to patients. Since, there is still not ample clarity on effect of patient’s recovery probability or time frame if given HCQ, some doctors are not in favor of prescribing it. Also, there are no reports to back the hypothesis that HCQ is effecting death rate or mortality rate among COVID patients, private hospitals are choosing to abstain from the drug.
One important protocol being followed in all hospitals is that positive cases are being advised to sleep on their stomach, especially those with breathing difficulties. This position allows better oxygenation in these patients. Also, a combination of high flow oxygen, steroids and immune moderators is offered to these patients. Ventilators are being avoided as much as possible in all hospitals across the state.
There are around 44 testing facilities in the state under government sector and around 30 are private. State is being recorded for highest number of samples tested every day.