Lauterbach wants to improve the situation of long-COVID patients | Currently Germany | DW

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Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) has announced a major initiative for people with Long COVID. “For example, a hotline will be set up in my ministry in a timely manner. It should serve as a contact point for people who are looking for information about Long COVID,” Lauterbach told the Düsseldorf “Rheinische Post”. Those affected have many questions and often unspecific diseases. It is therefore important “that we offer them an information platform that bundles previous knowledge, provides information about the current state of research and, among other things, provides information on diagnostics and new therapeutic approaches”.

It was only on Thursday that long-Covid-affected people called for more support in front of the Bundestag with an action

Significant number of long-COVID patients

He also wants to fund so-called healthcare research with 100 million euros in the future in order to improve the situation of those suffering from Long COVID. The aim is to find out what the optimal care concept is for those affected. “We assume that a relevant proportion of those who are ill after a corona infection are struggling with long-COVID symptoms. Estimates assume that around five to ten percent of those who were previously ill have long-COVID symptoms This often means a hard stroke of fate for the individual and can even become relevant for the labor market if the number of sick people continues to rise,” explained the minister. An important question is, for example, which form of rehabilitation works. The wrong rehab could result in additional weakness.

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Many long-Covid patients suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome

In addition, Lauterbach warned that several corona infections in one person could have serious consequences for the immune system: “Studies now show very clearly that those affected are often dealing with an immune deficiency that can no longer be cured.” This could be a risk factor for the development of chronic diseases.

It’s still unclear where the money will come from

The ARD capital city studio had already reported on Thursday that Lauterbach plans to budget millions for the funding of projects to improve the supply for the coming years. Lauterbach did not say for what period of time he estimated these funds. It is also unclear whether the minister will get so much money in the budget for this.

as/ehl (dpa, rtr, afp)

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