Health Ministry considering ‘Long COVID’ unit

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Because of the adverse aftereffects of the COVID-19 virus on a patient’s body, the Ministry of Health is now considering the establishment of a “Long COVID Unit” to assist with recovery.

This was revealed by the Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony on Wednesday during a press conference at the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal.

Long COVID, also known as post-COVID-19 syndrome, post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), chronic COVID syndrome (CCS) and long-haul COVID, is a condition characterised by long-term effects – appearing or persisting after the typical convalescence period of the COVID-19 virus.

Long COVID can affect nearly every organ system with sequelae including respiratory system disorders, nervous system and neurocognitive disorders, mental health disorders, metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, and anaemia among other ailments.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony

According to the Health Minister, there are cases where the virus invades the neurons in the brain, leading to other severe long-term effects. He explained too that many of the patients who have been cleared of COVID-19 end up having “cardiac problems.”

“Some patients who never had diabetes, when you clear them from COVID, they now start presenting signs and symptoms of diabetes.

“There are patients who would have kidney problems, problems with their gastrointestinal tract so almost any system in the body that you can think about can be affected by it.”

With the unit in place, persons will be able to get the necessary care needed to assist with their recovery, the Health Minister said.

“We will help them, do follows ups and make sure that there is guidance to help patients recover from this.”

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