Home / News / World /  COVID much more than respiratory disease: WHO on why woes related to virus not yet over

Even as the end is in sight for the COVID-19 pandemic, World Health Organisation (WHO) has notified they are still concerned about ‘post COVID-19 conditions’. Pointing out that around 144 million people have suffered from long COVID, WHO official said, “it is much more than a respiratory disease" and they have just started understanding its acute effects and long-term effects.

Speaking on Post COVID-19 conditions, WHO official Maria Van Kerkhove in a recent interaction said, This is something that WHO and our partners are concerned about. There are some estimates that people who are suffering from post COVID condition are in hundreds of millions. At the end of 2021, the estimate of people suffering from this is around 144 million. This is before the Omicron was circulating. This is something that is of significant concern to WHO.

“We have been working with a variety of clinicians, including pediatricians, with patients group to make sure that we have appropriate recognition and rehab for these patients. We recently issued therapeutic guidelines for rehabilitation for people who are suffering from this. We have case definition and data collection forms so that we can collect appropriate standardised data across countries to better understand what this is."

Pointing out how severe it can be, the official stated, Many people think COVID-19 is a respiratory disease but this affects the brain, lungs, circulatory system, the heart. So we are just beginning to learn about the acute effects of what people are suffering from when they are infected and have a disease and disease course - but what happens in the longer term? This is something that requires significant investment.

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Earlier this month, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the world had never been in a better position to end the Covid-19 pandemic and urged nations to keep up their efforts against the virus. While addressing a virtual press conference, the WHO chief said, “We are not there yet, but the end is in sight."

He further warned saying, "…but the world needed to step up to “seize this opportunity, a marathon runner does not stop when the finish line comes into view. She runs harder, with all the energy she has left… So must we. We can see the finish line. We're in a winning position. But now is the worst time to stop running."

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