The number of people suffering from long Covid should be published routinely, as happens with those infected or hospitalized with coronavirus, persuade MPs and peers of Boris Johnson.
A cross-party group of parliamentarians wants the prime minister to ensure that the “untold human suffering” that includes the situation helps shape the government’s future pandemic policy.
Thirty-two lawmakers and 33 colleagues have signed a letter urging Johnson to give higher priority to the potential damage Covid has long posed, after the Office for National Statistics found last week that some 1.1 million people are suffering its consequences – far more than before thought.
The signatories come from eight parties, and among them is the Tory MP Dr. Dan Poulter, former health minister; Lord Darzi, surgeon and former Minister of Health; and SNP MP dr. Philippa Whitford, who is an NHS breast surgeon.
The letter, coordinated by the all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus, says: “Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are not the only measure of this pandemic. We call on the government to counter count the number of people left with the long Covid, many of whom the pandemic has destroyed their lives.
“Your government has committed itself to being guided by ‘data not dates’. This pledge risks becoming an empty slogan if comprehensive data is not collected for a long time and not taken into account in future decisions. “
Long Covid mostly affects public sector workers such as healthcare staff, teachers and transport workers, the ONS found. Symptoms include pain, exhaustion, heart problems and a “brain fog” due to which the injured often cannot work or work normally.
Poulter said ONS figures should act as a warning sign regarding the actual prevalence of post-viral syndrome. “The government must consider the potential long-term impact of coronaviruses, including those that are otherwise healthy and healthy, because the lock is relaxed. Failure to do so will risk even greater pressure on our already overburdened health service and leaving more people suffering from the long-lasting symptoms of this cruel disease. “
Long Covid’s letter calls it a “hidden health crisis of the pandemic” and says, “Those suffering from Long Covid were largely overlooked during the first and second waves in this pandemic. Given what we now know about this condition, it would be unforgivable to repeat the same mistake . “
Labor MP Andrew Gwynne, another signatory who suffers from the long Covid himself, said: “The current government approach seems to focus only on the short term, ignoring the long-term consequences of the coronavirus and the human suffering it causes. It risks causing a time bomb ticking off for our NHS, the economy and key workers that Covid is most likely to be affected by. “
In a report released Monday from a March 31 meeting of the government’s Scientific Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage), its members – including England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance – said they would , although the vaccination program means fewer people will end up in the hospital with Covid or die from it, “there are other impacts, including post-Covid syndromes (‘long covid’).”
Sage stated: “The overall prevalence and impact of these syndromes are not well understood, nor is the potential role of vaccination in preventing them. This should be taken into account when assessing the impact of different levels of prevalence. “
He approached Downing Street for comment.