THE Government’s COVID-19 response should not be limited to only treatment and prevention but must also include the management of ‘long COVID’, said Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
The term ‘long COVID-19’ refers to the lasting after-effects of the coronavirus, with many sufferers around the world reporting symptoms such as lethargy, headache and difficulty in breathing for months after recovering from COVID-19.
With more than two million people in Malaysia having already contracted the virus, the UMNO deputy president said that it was possible that many Malaysians were already experiencing the effects of ‘long COVID’.
“Our policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic cannot stop at prevention and treatment and must also include long-term treatment of former patients and different kinds of related research,” Mohamad, better known as Tok Mat, said in a Facebook post.
“Malaysia should have special policies and strategies in place to identify, investigate and rehabilitate the long-term effects of COVID-19 on former patients.”
According to Mohamad, Malaysia must also boost its annual healthcare budget to account for the challenges brought about by COVID-19, even with more than half the population already fully vaccinated.
“The global healthcare system will continue to be burdened by many challenges due to the pandemic, and therefore, Malaysia’s health investment can no longer be 4% of our gross domestic product (GPD).
“It’s time that we targeted an allocation of 7%-8% of the national GDP for the health sector,” he proposed. – Sept 17, 2021