The Sun Daily: KJ: Over 60% Covid-19 patients have long-term symptoms

PUTRAJAYA: About 30 to 40 per cent of patients with Covid-19 long-term effects or Long Covid in the country return to work within three months of having the infection, whereas between 60 and 70 per cent return to work within six months, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said while over 4.4 million individuals have recovered from Covid-19 since it broke out in the country more than two years ago, it may be the beginning of a long struggle towards full recovery for a handful of individuals.

It can occur regardless of the level of Covid-19 infection, where the prevalence rate in the country for individuals with Long Covid symptoms after recovery from categories four and five is 65.1 per cent, of which 61.2 per cent have more than two Long Covid symptoms, he said.

Khairy also said that as of April this year, a total of 2,798 patients have received in-patient treatment for Long Covid, while 6,432 patients underwent outpatient treatment at Health Ministry (MOH) facilities nationwide.

“The MOH will continue to add more resources and equipment to treat and rehabilitate Long Covid cases as part of its strategy to protect and treat those at high risk of being infected with the Covid-19 virus,” he said in a statement today.

Among the Long Covid symptoms often experienced and that can cause an impact on an individual's functions and daily activities are fatigue, difficulty in breathing, cough, joint and muscle pain, difficulty in having sound sleep, limb weakness, sensory problems, anxiety, brain fog and skin lesions.

Without special and structured treatment, the condition can persist to the point of affecting the individual’s quality of life, he said.

Khairy said it could also have implications such as a rise in morbidity, disability, decreased productivity and loss of source of income which will ultimately cause a socio-economic burden not only on the individual but also on their family, society and the country’s economy.

He said those with serious Long Covid symptoms which significantly affected their functions and ability to return to work, could be referred to a hospital with rehabilitative medical expertise.

Khairy explained that medical rehabilitation is a medical speciality that focuses on improving an individual’s functions through diagnosis, health treatment, reducing disability as well as prevention of complications.

“Intervention through rehabilitation programmes are aimed at optimal physical, cognitive, social, psychological, vocational and avocational functioning, in line with the distinctive needs of the affected persons,” he added.-Bernama

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