Coronavirus: WHO urges health authorities to understand the long-term consequences of COVID-19 – Times of India


With a surge in the number of long COVID cases and the implication of the ever-expanding list of lingering symptoms on people, health organizations in and around the world have raised a lot of concern. Just recently, U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) had announced their initiative to study the long term effects of COVID-19 and claimed to develop possible treatments for the same.

Similarly, on Thursday, the European branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) raised similar concerns and urged various health authorities to study and understand the long-term consequences of COVID-19.

In a press conference, Hans Kluge, Regional Director for WHO Europe, said, “The sufferers of post-COVID conditions need to be heard if we are to understand the long-term consequences and recovery from COVID-19. It’s a clear priority for WHO, and of the utmost importance. It should be for every health authority.”

“The burden is real and it is significant. About one in 10 Covid-19 sufferers remain unwell after 12 weeks, and many for much longer,” he added.

While no definite numbers or comprehensive data have been provided by the health organization, officials insist that the symptoms are real. It is believed that one in 10 remain unwell after 12 weeks.

Possible long COVID symptoms, as per WHO

Fatigue, post-exertional malaise, brain fog, cardiac and neurological disorders are some of the common ailments reported by the World Health Organization.

According to Dr. Janet Diaz, Health Care Readiness at WHO, said in a statement, “So, these are symptoms or complications that can happen potentially a month after, three months after, or even six months after, and as we are learning more, we are trying to understand the real duration of this condition.”

Reportedly, WHO has urged various European countries and institutions to “come together as part of an integrated research agenda.” A virtual seminar was also initiated by WHO Europe early this February, dedicated to giving ‘long COVID’ a formal name, ways to study it and find a possible solution to tackle it.

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