‘At least five hundred healthcare employees have had covid for two years’
About five hundred healthcare employees who became infected with the virus at the start of the corona crisis tell FNV that they are still experiencing complaints two years later. That leaves the union saturday know. This group of healthcare workers with so-called lung covid, which includes symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath and concentration problems, threatens to become unemployed quickly, according to FNV.
In total, FNV received more than two thousand messages from healthcare employees with lung covid at a hotline opened at the end of last year. That’s not even 1 percent of the total amount positively tested healthcare workers since the start of the pandemic (more than 250,000). However, not all healthcare staff with long-term covid complaints knock on the door of the hotline, thinks FNV Vice-President Kitty Jong: “In reality, this group will be much larger.”
Also read: Brain fog in lung covid may be due to overactive immune cells
Healthcare workers who contracted Covid-19 in the first weeks of the corona crisis and subsequently had such serious complaints that they can no longer work, can soon be fired by their boss. After two years of absenteeism, their contract may be terminated, after which they must apply for benefits. Usually that means a financial setback. “The FNV wants urgent work to be done on financial compensation for these healthcare workers,” said Jong.
Much is still unclear about the causes of lung covid. In addition, it is not known exactly how many Dutch people continue to suffer from complaints after a corona infection in the long term. Estimates range from about one in ten to half of the corona patients – making an exact estimate is difficult, especially because lung covid comes with a wide range of complaints, which can also have other causes. It is now clear that people who initially had little trouble with their infection can develop lung covid later on.
Welcome to this blog
In this blog, the editors of NRC This weekend report on the most important developments in the corona crisis. Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) was “moderately optimistic” on Friday about a possible further relaxation of the corona measures, while the number of positive tests reached a record high last week.
Read Friday’s blog here