Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew has expressed concern about increasing evidence of chronic health conditions in recovered COVID-19 patients.
The party’s Health Spokesperson said:
“Research from Germany, the United States and England shows that the COVID-19 virus can attack various organs in the body and can prompt the onset of long-lasting chronic diseases.
“We don’t yet know for certain the long-term ramifications of the virus. However, medical and scientific evidence is showing that some COVID-19 recovered patients are developing ongoing symptoms, including signs of heart abnormalities such as inflammation of the heart muscle or myocarditis.
“The general consensus among the medical and scientific experts is that for some people there is a real risk of both severe disease and long-term impairment as a consequence of the virus.
“While the ongoing pandemic will place heavy demands on our healthcare system, we must also proactively prepare for longer-term implications of the virus.
“In the coming months, the Department for Health must carefully monitor and record the learning from the pandemic and put in place the necessary supports to meet the rehabilitation needs of recovered COVID-19 patients.
“I have asked the Minister of Health to outline the number, and type, of chronic health conditions emerging from positive COVID-19 cases.
“It is vital that the Department of Health works proactively now to prepare for any additional strain on the health and social care system in the near and longer-term future.”