A health secretary tells News Dope that she is concerned about “growing evidence” of “small” long-term effects. Health Secretary Matt Hancock admits he is “concerned” about the long-term effect of coronavirus on those infected.
Mr Hancock said a “minority” of people had suffered “critical” conditions after securing a COVID-19 contract.
Asked about the long-term impact of the disease on patients, the health secretary – who has a COVID-19 contract in March – told News Dope’ Kay Burley @ Breakfast show: “I am affected.
“I am concerned that there is growing evidence that a small number of people – but a small group – have a long-term impact and can be very weak.
“We have therefore established an NHS service to support those with long-term impact of COVID-19 and, again, have invested approximately £ 10m in research on these long-term effects.
“It is a matter of concern, we have taken steps – both for the NHS and for research activities.
“One of the consequences of this is being a novelty.
“We are constantly learning about its effects and it turns out that for some people there is a long-term negative effect, almost identical to that of mental fatigue syndrome that you get with most viruses.
“It’s very important that we support people in this situation as well, and that we do research to find out what we can do about it.”
Doctors in Lombardy, Italy’s most affected region, say that COVID-19 is a viral disease that affects all organs and not, as previously thought, a respiratory disease.
Mr Hancock acknowledged the fact that medical professionals and governments around the world are “constantly learning” about the virus which is one of the most difficult to respond to
He said: “The decisions were extraordinary and far greater, the issues you weigh more, are very important on both sides.
“The hardest part is, no doubt, the fact that, as we have learned so much, we have to change our policy and you have to explain why your policy is different from yesterday’s.
“The truth is, it’s because we read all the time.” He also cited an example of how scientists previously thought that those without coronavirus symptoms could not spread the disease.
“Before this coronavirus there were six coronaviruses in the past and none of them received asymptomatic transmission,” Mr Hancock said.
“Understandably, then, the advice I received earlier was not the same.
“But it is possible, and it is one of the hardest things to deal with because it is difficult enough to stop the virus when people with symptoms – but when people with no symptoms transmit it it makes it very difficult.
“The whole world is experiencing this problem.” Coronavirus: Matt Hancock ‘worried’ about COVID-19 ‘long-term’ trumpets’ impact