BackgroundThe novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak started in Wuhan, Hubei, China since Dec 2019 and cases of infection have been continuously reported in various countries. It is now clear that the COVID-19 coronavirus is transmissible from human to human. Nucleic acid detection is considered as the gold standard for the diagnosis of COVID-19. In this case report, we describe our experience in detection of COVID-19 from a confirmed patient using nucleic acid test of bronchoalveolar-lavage fluid (BALF) samples but not nasopharyngeal swabs.Case presentationWe present a case of severely ill COVID-19 infected 46-year-old man with fever, coughing and chest tightness. We performed viral detection using his BALF samples and imaging method (CT) for confirmation. The patient received combination of interferonalfa-1b and ribavirin, lopinavir and ritonavir for antiviral treatment at different stages. Other medication was also given to him in combination for anti-inflammation, intestinal microbial regulation, phlegm elimination, liver protection and pulmonary fibrosis prevention purposes. We provided oxygen supply to him using BIPAP ventilator and high-flow humidification oxygen therapy instrument to facilitate respiration. The patient was cured and discharged.ConclusionThis case report described an effective supportive medication scheme to treat COVID-19 infected patient and emphasized the necessity of detection of the viral genome using BALF samples and its significance in the diagnosis and prognosis of the disease.