The Slovenia Times

Long Covid treatment available next year


Ljubljana - Treatments for long-term effects of coronavirus will be rolled out next year under the Health Ministry's guidelines for services at primary health care level. The work of experts from various fields will be funded by the public insurance fund ZZZS, Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan said.

Experts have been warning about a number of health problems plaguing people after their recovery from Covid-19. Maribor Health Centre director Jernej Završnik told the STA on Tuesday that Covid-19, especially when it comes to the omicron variant, caused inflammation of blood vessels in all organs.

"We are realising that infection with different strains causes similar effects to smoking one or two packs of cigarettes a day," he warned. This could lead to an increase in dementia and Alzheimer's patients.

His health centre has been providing a programme for post-Covid patients since June.

The minister said on Wednesday that the experience gained in Maribor will be transferred to the national level under the guidelines for next year. "We want the treatment for long Covid to become routine in 2023 and to be paid for by the ZZZS," he added.

The programme will include teams of physiotherapists, social workers and psychologists.

Slovenia's case count has been rising with a six-month high logged on Monday. Tadej Ostrc, the ministry's state secretary and the head of the Covid coordination group, said the country was still in the first response phase, which mainly includes anti-Covid recommendations. In the current epidemic situation, there is no reason to fear moving to the second phase, Bešič Loredan added.

The Covid advisory group with the National Institute of Public Health met on Tuesday, he said, and called for a recommendation to get a second booster dose of Covid-19 vaccines.

Vaccination with Pfizer omicron-adapted boosters began nationwide yesterday providing protection against the original coronavirus variant and the BA.1 omicron variant.

A number of health centres said they had received the vaccines, but they were not yet seeing an increase in demand. This might be because people are waiting for the most recently approved Pfizer vaccine that is effective against the BA.4 in BA.5 subvariants.

The state secretary said the first doses of this vaccine will arrive in Slovenia within four weeks. He announced vaccination promotion will be stepped up afterwards in a bid to increase the rate of second booster-vaccination among vulnerable groups, which is currently standing at 2% in the 60-plus age group.


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