Govt to establish unit to deal with Covid patients with prolonged symptoms

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The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC)

Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony has disclosed that authorities are in the process of establishing a multidisciplinary unit which will be tasked with providing care to Covid-19 patients who are experiencing prolonged symptoms.

“What we’re now in the process of organising is a multidisciplinary team to provide care for long Covid patients. So this is not just one specialty, its not just like cardiac, this is going to be a multidisciplinary team because what we’re seeing with Covid, it can affect any one of the organs inside the body or sometimes several organs of the body simultaneously,” the Health Minister explained.

This team, he said, will be fixed at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and will then be replicated at the regional hospitals.

“So, we’re in the process of setting up that unit to be based at the Georgetown Public Hospital and we will then be able to replicate that to some of our other hospitals depending on the patient load that we’ll see,” Dr Anthony said.

Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection or “long Covid” as it is commonly called, describes the effects of Covid-19 which persist for weeks or sometimes months after a person was initially infected with the disease. Lasting symptoms of the disease include fatigue, breathlessness, brain fog (lack of focus), chest pains, joint or muscle pains, palpitations, anxiety or depression.

A report by Britain’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) showed ongoing illness after infection with Covid-19. Similarly, a study by Oxford University showed that two to three months after the onset of Covid-19, 64 per cent of patients suffered persistent breathlessness and 55 per cent suffered from significant fatigue. MRI scans also showed abnormalities in the lungs, kidneys, heart and liver.

Meanwhile, to date, 316, 973 persons or 61.8 per cent of Guyana’s adult population have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. A total of 165, 401 persons or 32.2 per cent of the country’s adult population have received both doses of the vaccine.

Also, some 4,362 adolescents have received their first jab of the Pfizer vaccine, since Government rolled-out its programme last week.