Why asymptomatic carriers are asked not to call ambulance in Kazakhstan?
600 more asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus were registered in Kazakhstan in the last 24 hours, bringing their number in the country to 5,492.
Having learned that they contracted the COVID-19 infection, Kazakh residents usually call an ambulance. Alfiya Khaidarova, a resident of Nur-Sultan, did the same. She called the ambulance after she found out that somebody close to her tested positive for coronavirus. However, the paramedics didn’t arrive.
“The coronavirus infection was confirmed, but the paramedics didn’t come. The health worker called us back saying that he is sorry but all of the ambulance crews are busy. Nobody will be able to come to you. He said that I should observe the health status of the person who was infected with COVID-19. It is scary to just stay at home when your loved one has such a dangerous diagnosis. After all, doctors should do the X-ray and examine the patient,” Khaidarova said.
Kazakh Health Ministry explains the situation differently. Previously, a new protocol for the treatment of coronavirus infection was adopted at the meeting of the Joint Commission on the Quality of Medical Services. Deputy Health Minister of Kazakhstan Lyudmila Byurabekova published on her Facebook account that the asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 infection make the most of the country’s coronavirus case count. Byurabekova noted that there is a popular belief that the asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus are not treated and are not being observed properly and that they left to deal with the illness on their own. She said that this is far from true.
“Individuals having asymptomatic form of the coronavirus are the carriers of the infection and they may also have clinical symptoms within 14 days during the incubation period. In accordance with the decision of the Kazakh Chief Sanitary Officer, coronavirus patients are subject to medical supervision at home or at quarantine facilities in coordination with the primary healthcare in compliance with the anti-epidemic regime. Individuals with a mild form of COVID-19 infection are subject to medical supervision at home or at quarantine facilities in coordination with primary healthcare and in compliance with the anti-epidemic regime,” Byurabekova wrote.
She also said that the etiotropic treatment of patients with mild symptoms of COVID-19 is not carried out in the country. However, these patients are observed on an outpatient basis. This includes daily calling, assessment of the general condition of the patient, body temperature measurement, asking if the patient has any complaints, oxygen saturation of the blood, and, if possible, video consultations. Byurabekova noted that if the symptoms worsen, the patient will be sent to an infectious diseases hospital.
“Coronavirus patients with a mild form of the disease are removed from the medical observation if they don’t have fever and deterioration of respiratory symptoms, as well as after a single negative result of the PCR-based COVID-19 test. We will continue to improve the protocols for the diagnosis and treatment of this new virus in order to provide effective and adequate therapy for patients as we receive the new information about this infection and taking into account the experience of the Kazakh and foreign doctors,” Byurabekova wrote.
Meantime, Almaty has the highest number of COVID-19 patients without any symptoms of infection detected in Kazakhstan. Health workers in Almaty ask city residents not to call an ambulance if they received positive results for COVID-19, but don’t show obvious symptoms of the infection. In such cases, experts recommend contacting medical clinics. The local doctors will decide whether to hospitalize the patient or leave him at home treatment.
The world biologists state that there is no such thing as an asymptomatic patient. Professor at George Mason University Ancha Baranova said that when characterizing patients infected with coronavirus, the use of the term ‘asymptomatic’ is meaningless. She said that even if the patient doesn’t show any COVID-19 symptoms, the infected person may later have problems with internal organs. Baranova noted that most often the asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus are the young people who don’t get enough attention from medical workers and this may be fraught with ever-more serious consequences.