Why COVID-19 recovery rate is high in Nagaland

Atono Tsükrü Kense
Kohima | June 20

While most of the countries across the globe are struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19 with high mortality rate, the state of Nagaland is considered fortunate as 97% of all the COVID-19 positive cases fall under the category of ‘asymptomatic’ and the recovery rate stands at 68% as of June 20.

However, there is some section of people who are unable to comprehend and beginning to doubt the ‘high recovery rate’ and the ‘testing results’ with a meme doing the rounds in social media which reads “COVID-19 recovery in Nagaland is faster than the internet connection.”

In a bid to debunk the doubts, The Morung Express interacted with some medical experts who are treating the COVID-19 positive patients. According to the experts, the main factors to the high recovery rate in the state are age, healthy immune system and geographic and environmental factors.

Dr Azo Kharutso who is treating COVID-19 positive patients at a COVID-19 hospital said “the greatest factor of high recovery rate in Nagaland is because, most of the infected people so far are middle aged (17-44 years) - at an age where a person has a strong and healthy immune system.”

Besides, he stated that the patients do not have any co-morbidity, meaning they don’t have any other associated infections except COVID-19.

Other factors, though not researched, Dr Kharutso believed could be ‘our genetics, ethnicity, geographic and environmental conditions’ while reasoning that unlike most countries, Nagas generally adopt hygienic lifestyle.

State Nodal Officer of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), Dr Nyanthung Kikon affirmed that the recovery rate is much better and higher due to the fact that 97% of the COVID-19 positive cases are below the age of 35 years who are all asymptomatic.

Explaining the COVID-19 as ‘an evolving and self-limiting disease’, Dr Kikon said “we believe that they (COVID-19 positive patients) have healthy immune system because when we test them most of them are asymptomatic, and that is a positive sign.”

Enlightening on the model of treatment for the COVID-19 positive patients in the hospitals, he said “basically, in the hospital they are given vitamins, and if they have some kind of cold, cough or fever they are administered with paracetamol, antibiotics and good diet as well.” 

On the questions being raised by some people on the testing, a doctor on anonymity said “though the hi-tech testing machine is unlikely of making mistake, but since the machines are after all, being operated by humans and humans are bound to err at times.” 

The possibility of erroneous results, if any, could be due to improper collection of swab samples, the doctor pointed out.

On the negativity and criticisms being hurled towards the government and its agencies in the social media platforms, another doctor remarked “We have come to a stage where the right becomes wrong and the wrong becomes right. No matter how much we try, there is always an excuse for the keyboard warriors to bring out negativity. We have become so critical towards the medical fraternity at times.”

Meanwhile, Nagaland registered COVID-19 recovery rate of 68.65% on Saturday, against the national rate of 54.12% as on June 20.