The health department of the southern Indian state of Kerala has decided to set up specialized clinics to ensure follow-up treatment to people who recovered from COVID-19.
These ‘COVID-19 Convalescent Clinics’ will be established across the state’s community health centres, family health centres, taluk-district-general hospitals and govt medical colleges, said state health minister KK Shailaja.
As per the guidelines issued by the department, all persons who have recovered from the coronavirus infection must necessarily visit the facilities. The clinics will provide follow-up treatment every month. The post-COVID division, overseen by District Medical Officer, will remain open once every week during fixed hours. Health staff will undergo specialized training for the purpose.
Recovered patients can also seek treatment through a telemedicine facility.
The guidelines define post-acute COVID-19 as manifestations extending beyond 12 weeks. For some people, some symptoms may linger for weeks and months following initial recovery.
The majority of the patients who recovered from COVID-19 are suffering from fatigue, respiratory issues, memory loss, sleep disorders and depression, reports said.
A growing number of health facilities are launching dedicated clinics or programmes for COVID-19 patients with lingering symptoms in many parts of the world, especially in the US and Europe.
In the US, many academic medical centres have opened clinics to aid patients with long-term symptoms, including University of California-San Francisco, Stanford (Calif.) University Medical Center and Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine. Cleveland Clinic also plans to open one in early 2021, according to reports.