In what could likely be a case of Tamil Nadu's oldest survivor of COVID-19, a 97-year-old man with comorbidities made a remarkable recovery from the virus at a private hospital in Chennai. Doctors and other health workers clapped and cheered for the senior citizen as he exited the hospital.
The man was admitted to Kauvery Hospital on May 30 after testing positive for COVID-19. He complained of fever, cough and breathlessness, the hospital said in a statement. He also had comorbid conditions such as hypertension and heart disease.
Dr Vijayalakshmi Balakrishnan, Senior Infectious Diseases Specialist at Kauvery Hospital, said: "Slowly, he recovered. After five to six days he became much better walking around and talking to us. When he went home, we all had a good feeling."
"COVID is not the end of life. There is always a chance. We can win the war and live healthy," she added.
Chennai, the coronavirus epicenter of Tamil Nadu, has 14,723 active cases. The city's total tally accounts for 71 per cent of the state's numbers. A majority of cases are being treated in government hospitals and government-run Corona Care Centres amid reports of a shortage of beds, which the government denies. Presently the state has a 52 per cent recovery rate and 0.9 per cent mortality rate.
The state government has fixed a cap on fees chargeable by private hospitals. For asymptomatic and mild cases, it's Rs 5,000 per day, a maximum of Rs 9,000 for severe cases, and Rs 15,000 if admitted to the ICU. The state government has also included COVID-19 treatment by private hospitals under the state government's health insurance plan to benefit those below the poverty line.