The effects of “long Covid” must be investigated by the Government, an MP has said.
Layla Moran, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) group on coronavirus, says that there is a need for the long-term effects of Covid-19 to be formally recognised and evaluated.
The Liberal Democrat MP added that the Government needed to conduct a rapid, comprehensive study of the condition and provide the necessary support to those living with its impact.
Writing in the BMJ on Wednesday (September 23), Ms Morgan also warned that as the number of people with long Covid increases, the situation will become “more and more urgent”.
She added: “In August, we heard from people living with long Covid and hundreds more sufferers submitted written evidence to our inquiry.
“Their testimonials were incredibly moving and concerning.
“What was clear was that we needed to make some urgent recommendations to the Prime Minister; the health, wellbeing and employment arrangements for those living with long Covid remain unaddressed.
“And as the number of people with long Covid grows, the situation gets more and more urgent.”
Ms Moran said she had written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on August 24 with APPG’s recommendation but had not received a response.
Recommendations which have been set out by the group include more research into the condition and its long-term effects, new guidelines for employers and GPs to help sufferers return to work and the regular collection of data on the number of people living with long Covid.
Ms Moran criticised the general awareness of long Covid and its seriousness in Westminster.
She added: “It all has to start with formal recognition and we’re not even there yet.
“At the time of writing, I have not received any response from the Prime Minister to our recommendations.
“If we can’t even respect those suffering with this condition by formally acknowledging their plight, how are we supposed to put the support in place that is clearly needed?
“What’s clear is that general awareness of long Covid, and its seriousness, is too low in Westminster.
“That’s why as an APPG we will continue to work hard in the coming weeks to raise awareness of it in both Houses of Parliament.
“After all, we’re doing this to save lives. That’s what matters.”
A Government spokeswoman said it had committed £8.4 million to one of the “world’s largest comprehensive research studies” into the long-term health impacts of coronavirus on patients who have undergone hospital treatment for the condition.
She added: “As we continue our fight against this global pandemic, we are constantly learning more about the impact of coronavirus, including on longer-term physical and mental health.
“The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has also convened a roundtable meeting with researchers and clinicians to establish what more can be done to understand and mitigate the long-term health effects of Covid-19.
“Guidance has already been provided to the NHS on long-term effects of Covid-19, including how this should inform personalised patient care plans.”