Cyprus Mail

‘Urgent need’ for a long-Covid protocol

file photo: medial personnel attend a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease in the intensive care unit (icu) of liberec hospital

Following recent complaints over unauthorised long-Covid treatments, the patients’ association (Osak) on Wednesday called on the medical and scientific community to develop relevant protocols as it urged patients to receive proper information before seeking therapy.

In light of the discovery that a Larnaca-based clinic was offering expensive and unproven treatments for post-Covid symptoms, the Long Covid Cyprus network said that, at a global level, there is no scientifically proven and licensed treatment for the condition so far.

Hence, the best advisor for the patients is their personal doctor, the group said.

The network, which is affiliated with the European network Long covid Europe run by patients, called on the government as well as the scientific and medical community to recognise the “urgent need” for the development of a scientific protocol to manage the condition. This will help improve the quality of life of the “large and heterogenous group” of LC patients.

The network has already sought the input of medical companies to promote the necessary medical protocol to manage long-Covid patients.

Moreover, they added that meetings were held with the health insurance organisation (HIO) saying that the involvement of the national health scheme of every state is “necessary for the proper management”.

All the procedures, they said, take place with the team of doctors who collaborate with the network, always in communication with the patients.

Launched in March this year, Long Covid Cyprus network has over 500 members who have registered either though a Facebook page or directly through the patients’ association. They have said that an estimated 30,000 residents suffer from at least one long Covid symptom.

Meanwhile, a survey on long covid in Cyprus has recently shown that seven out of ten people who contracted coronavirus in 2020-2021 are still experiencing symptoms. Over half of those said they required medication.

Long Covid hit the headlines in the past month, following reports that a clinic situated in the outskirts of Larnaca was providing apheresis treatment for the condition, a process where all the blood is removed, its components separated and then re-transfused into the body.

The health ministry had issued a warning to the facility after contacting the manufacturers of the equipment used and confirmed that its use is not suggested to treat long Covid.

It later emerged that the clinic might have been offering various treatments with human cells, which is illegal across the European Union. Authorities who raided the clinic last week said they found embryonic cells that were imported to the island from Ukraine, under the pretence that they were used for research purposes.




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