A sample group of ninety percent COVID-19-recovered patients in a reputed hospital in China's Wuhan city have reported lung damage, while five percent of them have been put in quarantine after once again testing positive, a media report said on Wednesday. 

Peng Zhiyong, Director of Zhongnan Hospital's Intensive Care Unit of Wuhan University has been carrying out follow-up visits with his team on ''100 recovered patients'' since April, with the first phase of the one-year programme getting completed in July, in which the average age of a patient is 59. The first phase results have now shown that around 90 percent of the coronavirus patients' lungs continue to remain in a damaged state. The state-run Global Times reported that the gas exchange functions and ventilation to the lungs of these patients have not made a recovery as that of the level visible in healthy people. 

A six-minute walking test was conducted with the patients by Peng's team during which they found that the recovered COVID-19 patients could walk a distance of only 400 metres compared to the healthy persons, who walked 500 metres during the same time period. The report also quoted Liang Tengxiao, a doctor from the Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, saying that some recovered coronavirus patients had to rely on oxygen machines three months after getting discharged. 

Liang's team is also conducting follow-up visits with recovered patients aged above 65. In their study, it has been found that the antibodies against coronavirus in 10 percent of the 100 patients being treated had vanished. The report added that five percent of the patients showed negative results in COVID-19 nucleic acid tests, but positive results in Immunoglobulin M (IgM), and eventually had to once again be quarantined. When a virus attacks the body, the first antibody produced by the immune system is generally the IgM. And, a positive result in an IgM test usually denotes that person has just been infected by a virus. As of now, it remains unknown if this pertains to these people having gotten infected again. "The results revealed that the patients' immune systems are still recovering," Peng said.

It has also been found that these patients were experiencing a sense of stigma and suffered from depression. A majority of the COVID-19-recovered patients have informed the team that their families were reluctant to have dinner with them at the same table. The report also stated that less than half of the recovered patients have gone back to work, with the findings said to be quite important as the novel coronavirus first broke out in Wuhan city.

To date, Hubei province for Wuhan is the capital, and has reported a total of 68,138 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 4,512 casualties reported, as per the official data released by the National Health Commission (NHC). On Tuesday, China reported 27 fresh coronavirus cases, among which includes 22 locally-transmitted cases. The NHC has said that all locally-transmitted cases were reported in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. 

The commission further stated that five new imported cases were recorded on Tuesday among which two were registered in Shanghai and one each in Beijing, Sichuan and Shaanxi. The total number of coronavirus cases has now gone up to 84,491, including 810 patients who were still being treated, with 36 said to be in a severe condition. Overall, China's mainland has seen 79,047 people getting discharged, while 4,634 had died of the disease, the NHC said.