Post-COVID-19 complications on rise in Odisha, say doctors

Those who recovered from COVID-19 are grappling with complications and unable to get treatment due to absence of dedicated post-COVID-19 care centres in government-run hospitals

By Hrusikesh Mohanty
Published: Thursday 03 June 2021

  • A former Odisha minister Bijayshree Routray (68) died in a private hospital in Bhubaneswar June 2, 2021, reportedly due to post-novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) complications. Routray was infected with the virus in May, was hospitalised and later discharged. He, however, died due to multi-organ failure leading to Septicemia.
  • A 60-year-old woman from Bolangir died a few days after recovering from COVID-19 in May. She had complained of breathlessness after recovering.
  • Former vice-chancellor of Berhampur University, Harihar Das, died in his house at Berhampur in Ganjam district on November 4, 2020 — five days after recovering from COVID-19. He fell in the bathroom and died.

Post-COVID-19 complications have emerged as a silent killer in the state. Those who recovered from the disease are now grappling with complications and unable to get treatment due to the absence of any dedicated post-COVID-19 care centre in government-run hospitals, according to doctors.

The wife of a former lecturer at Berhampur said: “My husband complained of breathlessness five days after he was discharged from a COVID-19 hospital after undergoing treatment for a month. Since there is no specific post-COVID-19 care centre in the government-run hospital, I was forced to admit him at a private hospital in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.”

Several people, including those who recovered in home isolation, reportedly developed critical complications after recovery. Fibrosis of lunges, cardiac arrest, renal failure, neurological problems and diabetes are among the most common complications observed, doctors said.

Mucormycosis, a fungal infection, too has added to the woes of people who have recovered from the disease. At least four persons died of the disease in the state, sources said.

“Those who recover return to their normal lives and often ignore symptoms of post-COVID-19 complications, which may prove fatal in the long run,” said Uma Kant Mishra, a medicine professor.

“We get at least two patients with chest pain and breathlessness after recovery every day,” said Nalini Prava Dash, a pulmonologist at SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack.

“Several people developed diabetes after recovery,” said Sunil Kota, a doctor.

Subash Sahu, another private doctor, said the state government should open dedicated post-COVID-19 care centres in each district in government hospitals. Jharkhand and Karnataka have set up such facilities.

A health department official said they have directed the medical college authorities to treat people complaining of post COVID-19 complications. “They have been referred to the department, according to their symptoms,” he said.

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