20 ‘Long Covid-19’ patients at NHSL 

  • Symptoms continue past two weeks 

BY Pamodi Waravita 

Approximately 20 patients are currently receiving treatment for the “Long Covid-19” syndrome at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) in Colombo, and are experiencing symptoms which are continuing past the 14 days infection period of the Covid-19 virus. 

“We are increasingly concerned about ‘Long Covid-19’ symptoms in patients now. Although a vast majority of patients recover after the 14 days period of the virus, currently about 20 patients are receiving treatment at the NHSL for ‘Long Covid-19’ symptoms,” medical experts attached to the NHSL told The Morning yesterday (15).

The experts divided the commonly observed post-Covid-19 symptoms into three categories. 

“One category of patients experience weakness, headaches, lethargy, a diminished mood, and have even reported that they are unable to report to work. The other set of patients who experience these symptoms are those that suffer from Covid-19 pneumonia. We have observed that their symptoms are not completely resolved and that they experience breathing problems for many weeks. X-rays done on these patients show us that their lungs have still not completely recovered. The final set of patients is those who experience strokes or heart attacks about three months after being infected with the Covid-19 virus. If these patients are especially those who have no other reason to experience a heart attack or a stroke, then we assume that there is a connection between the Virus and these post-Covid-19 complications.”

However, the medical experts also reassured those who, after the Covid-19 period, are not experiencing any complications, as they are then most likely to have fully recovered. They stressed that “Long Covid-19” patients do not fully “recover” after the 14 days period and they continue to face complications, and as such, are easily recognisable.

“While it is disastrous even if one patient experiences such complications, we don’t want to cause unnecessary panic. However, we would like to add that this is a cause for concern,” they said.

Sri Lanka is currently facing a severe spread of the Delta (B.1.617.2) Covid-19 variant of Indian origin in all districts. The Health Promotion Bureau (HPB) said that 2,475 new cases and 136 deaths were reported on 14 September due to the virus.