10-30% of Covid-19 cases have post-Covid-19 symptoms
- Health Promotion Bureau sets up walk-in clinic
- Symptoms persist four weeks despite negative PCR/RAT
BY Pamodi Waravita
The Health Promotion Bureau (HPB) said yesterday (13) that it believes that approximately 10% to 30% of all those who contracted the Covid-19 virus are suffering from post-Covid-19 symptoms.
The HPB added that a special walk-in clinic has been opened at the National Eye Hospital for all patients who seek medical advice about post-Covid-19 symptoms.
“We define post-Covid-19 symptoms as those that persist four weeks after a person contracts the Covid-19 virus. According to world research, 10-30% of all Covid-19 patients experience post-Covid-19 symptoms. Thus, we believe that 10-30% of the over 500,000 patients identified in Sri Lanka have post-Covid-19 symptoms. The National Eye Hospital has started a walk-in clinic, operational five days per week, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Patients who come to the Eye Hospital, and the ones who are directed there from other wards in the National Hospital, Colombo, can seek medical advice about post-Covid-19 symptoms at the said clinic,” said National Eye Hospital Consultant Dr. Waruna Gunathilake.
Dr. Gunathilake said that the staff at the Eye Hospital are also serving as a case study in post-Covid-19 symptoms as approximately 60% of the staff at the National Eye Hospital had tested positive for the virus, out of which 50% are showing post-Covid-19 symptoms.
According to Dr. Gunathilake, although the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and rapid antigen tests (RATs) return negative when patients experience the post-Covid-19 syndrome, symptoms they experience include difficulty in breathing, asthma, headache, fatigue, insomnia, mental fog, increased heart rate, and increased sweating.
“Even though the virus has left the body, the impact on the body is still felt. If you are vaccinated, there are less chances of getting post-Covid-19 symptoms. Some people find that the symptoms severely affect their daily lifestyles. If you are experiencing insomnia, don’t drink caffeine and reduce screen time close to your bedtime. If you continue to experience a loss of smell even after recovering from the virus, engage in smell training activities where you sniff things like cinnamon oil for a prolonged period. Rest is also important. It is easy to maintain unhealthy work hours when working from home, therefore, make a conscious decision to set limitations.”
He said that the immediate future entails the problems that post-Covid-19 symptoms cause to the occupational health of patients and concerns as to whether it has the potential of becoming a public health crisis.