More than 42,000 people in and around the city of Iasi in northeast Romania have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began. About 880 Covid-19 patients have died in that area.
Most patients recovered, even if some needed hospital treatment.
But despite the recoveries, many patients are suffering from post-virus sickness. medics say that thousands of virus patients remain chronically ill after Covid infections.
More than 6,000 are still sick with what is commonly known as ‘long Covid’ or post-Covid syndrome. They are reliant on portable oxygen concentrators which they use at home.
„Between 10 and 30% of people infected with SARS-Cov-2 have health problems after the acute phase of the infection,” Traian Mihaescu, a pneumologist told Ziarul de Iasi.
”Unfortunately there are people who need this long-term oxygen therapy at home, due to the lasting effects of Covid,” he was quoted as saying.
He said that patients older than 50 with more than three commorbidities such as cardiovascular, kidney, endocrine diseases were the most vulnerable. „They need continuous oxygen therapy at home,” he added.
One third of those who have „long Covid” need months of long-term oxygen therapy at home, he said.
The County Health Insurance House received has received requests for 5,700 medical devices for oxygen therapy at home.
„We paid 1.1 million lei for the concentrators (about 224,000 euros). Insured patients who had post-Covid problems had priority. We give them for 12 months or three months depending on the doctor’s recommendation,” he said.
Romania has reported more than one million Covid-19 cases and about 30,000 virus-related deaths.
Iasi, the biggest city in northern Romania, has the fifth highest number of Covid cases in the country.