The World Health Organisation (WHO) emphasised to initiate effective preparedness and response for the patients with Coronavirus infection. Research says the persons with low respiratory fitness are at a higher risk of morbidity. Cardiorespiratory fitness is evident to be strongly associated with a reduced risk of adverse health outcomes and mortality in respiratory disease, this should be an integral part of preparedness along with a concern about diabetes, heart disease or elderly issues.
Scientific evidence suggests deep breathing exercise, breathing control exercise and aerobic exercise improves respiratory fitness to battle the impact of viral pneumonia. Breathing exercises and relaxation also helps to elevate the level of anxiety or depression in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation.
Respiratory physiotherapy can help both prophylaxis and recovery from respiratory illness. Physiotherapist guided respiratory interventions and rehabilitation measures are indicated in the cases with copious respiratory secretions that can be life-threatening unless treated. The patients with comorbidity and increasing age require airway clearance techniques, proper positioning, optimisation of oxygenation, use of proper ventilation and prevention of intensive care unit (ICU) induced physical weakness.
In case of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), physiotherapists have a role in relaxation, early mobilisation and rehabilitation even for the management of antepartum pneumonia. Proper physiotherapy management improves the chance of quicker cardio-respiratory recovery in critical care.
It is imperative to reflect upon the importance of physiotherapy and integrate physiotherapists with the emergency pandemic response system to tackle the situation effectively.
The writers are physiotherapists.