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    • Centres to offer support to as many as 500k people suffering prolonged effects 
    • It comes after NICE, a public body in England, officially recognised long Covid
    • About 5% of those who get Covid have symptoms that last for 12 weeks or more

    More than 40 mini-hospitals are to be established in England to help those suffering from long Covid.

    The centres will offer support to as many as 500,000 people thought to be suffering prolonged effects of the virus, including breathlessness, fatigue and anxiety.

    The move comes after the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which decides which treatments and drugs NHS patients are entitled to, officially recognised long Covid.

    The centres will offer support to as many as 500,000 people thought to be suffering prolonged effects of the virus (file photo of a hospital ward)

    About five per cent of those who get coronavirus experience symptoms that last for 12 weeks or more, according to research by King’s College London. It is double that for those under the age of 50.

    More than two-thirds of those hospitalised because of the virus suffer from debilitating symptoms more than seven weeks after being discharged, a study in the medical journal Thorax reported.

    According to The Sunday Times, NHS England has provided £10 million to fund the specialist centres which will combine mini-hospitals within large hospitals, clinics at GP surgeries and stand-alone sites.

    Ten are scheduled for the Midlands, seven in the North East, six in each of the East, South West and South East, five in London and three in the North West.

    Last night, NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: ‘These pioneering long Covid clinics will help address the very real problems being faced by patients and will help the NHS develop a greater understanding of the lasting effects of coronavirus.’

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