A 36-year-old man in Wuhan, who had recovered from Covid-19 and discharged, later died of respiratory failure.
This was reported in The Paper, a news portal based in Shanghai, but the report was taken down shortly after it was posted, according to bloomberg.com on Thursday (March 5).
The patient, Mr Li Liang, had undergone treatment in one of the hospitals built hastily after Covid-19 began to spread widely in China. That particular hospital was for patients with mild or moderate symptoms of Covid-19.
His wife, Ms Mei, said he was admitted to the facility on Feb 12 and released two weeks later. He was told to stay at a quarantine hospital first for another two weeks.
However, he felt unwell only two days later, complaining of a gaseous stomach and a dry mouth, his wife said. On March 2, as he continued to feel unwell, he was admitted to another hospital but died on the same day.
The health commission in Wuhan issued a death certificate that said the direct cause of Mr Li’s death was Covid-19. The certificate also showed that respiratory blockage and failure could have led to death, according to scmp.com.
According to The Guangzhou Daily, Mr Li had tested negative for Covid-19 on two successive days. Furthermore, his temperature had been normal for more than three days before he was discharged.
An expert from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Xiaogan, which is near Wuhan, was quoted by themercury.com as saying that Mr Li may have been released too soon. “The testing kits are not sensitive enough so it’s best to conduct three throat swab tests — one more than is the current practice – as well as an anal swab to determine whether a patient has recovered or not,” the expert said.
“But now there are too many patients waiting to be discharged, so there’s not enough time and doctors to perform all these tests, meaning some patients may be discharged before they’ve fully recovered.”
It was also reported in The Paper that one of Wuhan’s swiftly-built medical facilities, Fangcang Hospital, had released an emergency notice saying there were other patients who had been discharged but who were returning to the facility because they were falling sick again. This has led the facility to begin administering antibody tests on all patients who have recovered from Covid-19 prior to their discharge just to make sure of their full recovery.
The notice from Fancang Hospital said: “To decrease the cases of reoccurring and ensure everyone fully recovers, the hospital has decided to conduct more tests.”
The expert from the Xiaogan centre also said that, in Guangdong province, 14 per cent of patients tested positive for Covid-19 again some days after they were discharged from hospital. /TISG
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