3,074 people with long Covid in Roscommon

Crisis could collapse the health service – Naughten

 There are currently 3,074 people living with long Covid in County Roscommon, according to the results of a survey by Ireland Thinks.

Independent TD Denis Naughten says that 492 of those people have been badly impacted by symptoms after becoming ill with the virus and the crisis could lead to the collapse of the national health service.

The figures, taken from self-declared incidence of long Covid in Ireland, are based on a survey commissioned by the Roscommon-Galway TD.

“The reality is that such a large number of long Covid patients presenting to our hospitals with complex health conditions at a time when the system is already overwhelmed, could lead to the collapse of the health service,” Deputy Naughten claimed.

“We cannot just sleepwalk into a crisis of chronic illness, which will push people waiting on treatments since before the pandemic even further down already horrendous waiting lists. We need to see this surge of long Covid patients managed with a coordinated response from Government”.

The Independent TD recently called for long Covid to be recognised as an occupational hazard for frontline workers and urged the Government to treat patients presenting with ongoing symptoms with the same urgency as the initial wave of infections.

Data from the Ireland Thinks poll showed that six per cent of adults living in Ireland have self-reported symptoms of long Covid in excess of 12 weeks.

63 per cent of patients claim that long Covid is having some impact on their daily lives while 16 per cent say it has had a major impact.

Deputy Naughten said the figures correlate with previous data based on research published in The Lancet by a team of Dutch researchers.

Commenting on the results of the most recent survey, Denis Naughten said the findings were the first comprehensive report into the prevalence of long Covid in Ireland.

“While the mechanism behind the disease has yet to be fully defined, given the proportion of the population in Ireland living with long Covid, it is imperative that evidence-based treatment pathways be explored as a priority,” he said.