Failing in timely testing for Covid-19 can lead to complications: HMC expert
May 29 2020 06:10 PM
Dr Ahmed al-Mohamed
Dr Ahmed al-Mohamed

People should immediately get tested for Covid-19 if they develop any symptoms of the disease as any delay could cause complications, a top physician has cautioned.
“Any delay in seeking medical advice and undergoing testing if necessary, could lead to difficulties in the treatment of the disease,” Dr Ahmed al-Mohamed, chairman of the Department of Medicine, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) told Gulf Times.
“Covid-19 is just like any other disease. The earlier we detect it and the earlier we treat it, the better is the outcome. If delayed, there could be difficulties in treating the disease and the outcome may not be very good,” he warned.
Dr al-Mohamed said that Covid-19 is a new disease and the medical community as well as others are learning about it on a daily basis.
“We have to keep in mind that it is a new disease and therefore we get more information about it from around the world every now and then. Depending on the new information, there might be changes in the treatment plan. So any delay in getting the proper medical advice can complicate the treatment and how to deal with the disease in terms of prevention and treatment,” explained, Dr al-Mohamed.
According to the physician, frequent changes in the information about the disease is another reason for the changes in the recommendations to fight the disease. “We encourage people to undergo tests immediately if they find any symptoms to prevent the spread of the disease. We conduct the tests free of charge. We also conduct screening in the areas that seem to be affected. Undergo testing and this can help the community at large,” he noted.
The physician also stated that fever is a main symptom of Covid-19 and should be always taken care of seriously. Similarly, it is very important to wear mask, wash hands frequently and use sanitisers to avoid spreading the disease.
“Testing is very important to identify the disease especially among people with no symptoms or very mild symptoms. A vast majority of the people who are affected by the disease are asymptomatic or with very mild symptoms. They account for almost 90% of the cases. There are also some who have mild symptoms which are similar to cold and it may disappear after a few days. Only through testing such cases can be confirmed. Very few people need hospital treatment. Even lesser number of people may need admission in the intensive care unit who might need ventilators,” he pointed out.
Dr al-Mohamed maintained that the best way to prevent Covid-19 is to test early and treat it in advance as testing will lead to early diagnosis, treatment and saving lives eventually.
He also highlighted that there have been some changes in the policies about treating Covid-19 because of the latest findings and there is no need to test the people after 14 days of treatment as it can be misleading at times.
“Even the dead virus could be tested positive. Only the initial test is important and the repeated tests are not recommended anymore,” he added.

Last updated: May 29 2020 08:22 PM

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