Guyana to train physicians to detect and treat long COVID, says health minister

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Long-COVID can affect all organs in the body

By Shania Gonsalves

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – Coronavirus continues to affect countries across the world, and while Guyana is on a path to recovery with fewer positive cases, hospitalisations and deaths, many persons are still suffering from the chronic phase of the disease, experiencing symptoms long after falling ill.

This condition is known as the long-term effects of COVID or long-COVID.

Minister of health, Dr Frank Anthony, M.P, said in order to better detect and treat patients, it is important that local physicians be trained to manage the condition.

“The first week of June we’ll have a training for physicians, a lecture that would be done by one of the top experts at Mount Sinai, and this will be done for Guyanese physicians.

“So, we’re hoping with the training that a lot more of the medical doctors would become familiar with long-COVID, and hopefully they’ll be able to detect it, and offer proper treatment for these patients,” Dr Anthony said.

The minister added that long-COVID mostly affects persons with underlying illnesses and those who were hospitalised; however, it can also occur in persons with a milder form of the disease.

Dr Anthony said the ministry has also put in place a multidisciplinary team at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where persons experiencing long-COVID symptoms could be tested and treated.

He said the government is spending a lot more time focusing its attention on patients’ rehabilitation.

Long-COVID symptoms can be both physical and mental. Physical symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of smell and taste and headaches, while mental symptoms include depression, anxiety and memory loss. The minister is urging persons who are experiencing symptoms of long-COVID to get treated as early as possible.

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