Has any of your friends, relatives, or family members recovered and completed the mandatory isolation period? Are you hanging out with them? If you are, be careful.

According to an analysis of clinical data obtained from various hospitals in the US shows that SARS CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19 disease, stays for 90 days in the bodies of critically ill patients who have recovered.

The analysis triggers fears that such patients can potentially spread the highly contentious disease which has infected over 62 lakh people and taken nearly 98,000 lives in India.  

The assessment has also forced healthcare workers and policymakers to re-evaluate the isolation period of critically ill patients.

Mild and moderate ill patients are infectious for only 10 days.  Those who are immune-compromised but suffered moderately are infectious for 20 days. The COVID-19 patients who are severely immune-compromised and suffered critical illness are infectious for 90 days, the data assessment by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, USA has found.

Coronavirus drug Dexamethasone

Assessing COVID risks

The assessment by the US agency suggests that such recovered people can pass the infection to another in just 15 minutes. It also said that if any disease infects any such person after 90 days, is not COVID-19.

"The assessment is important to understand the isolation process. For healthcare workers, we are finding that RT-PCR is positive but they are asymptomatic. In this category of patients, the antibody levels are being checked every week. According to the antibody levels, it is decided whether they must re-join duty," says Dr Mustufa Afzal, senior infectious disease specialist at Care Hospitals.

The study is important in respect to India as people seemed to have lowered the guard even as the cases are rising by over 80,000 infections per day. Despite penal laws, large gatherings and people wandering without face mask have become a common sight as the government is opening the economic activities in a graded manner.

India's COVID-19 tally has reached 62.25 lakh with 80,472 new coronavirus cases and 1,179 deaths reported on Wednesday, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. For the first time in 28 days, coronavirus deaths over the one-day period have fallen below 1,000, the ministry data show.