Boris Johnson is facing new calls to offer compensation to frontline workers suffering from the long-term debilitating effects of the coronavirus.
More than 60 MPs and peers have written to the Prime Minister urging the government to recognize the so-called long Covid as an occupational disease.
People with the disease report severe fatigue, loss of taste or smell, and respiratory and cardiovascular problems long after the virus has healed.
The government has announced its intention to spend $ 18.5 million on research around Covid, one in 10 people would continue to experience symptoms after 12 weeks.
But the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on the coronavirus has renewed its calls for a compensation scheme for key workers who struggle to work due to the long-term effects of the disease.
President Layla Moran has long described Covid as the pandemic’s “hidden health crisis” and called for more support for people whose long-term health has been affected by the virus.
The group wants the UK to follow France, Germany, Belgium and Denmark in formally recognizing leovid-19 as an “occupational disease”.
Ms Moran said: “LongCovidis is the hidden health crisis of the pandemic, and it is likely to have a huge impact on society for many years to come.
“When it comes to the frontline NHS, care and key workers, they were specifically asked to go to work and save lives while everyone was asked to stay home.
“They were exposed to an increased level of risk of catching the virus, often without adequate levels of PPE.”
She said many frontline heroes were suffering from the debilitating effects of a long Covid and were unable to return to work full time.
“The government cannot abandon them now or never,” said the Liberal Democrat MP.
“The least the government can do is acknowledge their sacrifice by acknowledging their occupational disease state, launching a compensation program and saving the livelihoods of those who save lives.”
Tory MP Dr Dan Poulter, group vice-chairman, said doctors went above and beyond the call of duty during the pandemic, but many now face “dire health consequences” .
The government has asked frontline medical staff and key workers to take care of us during the pandemic, it is now up to governments to take care of the heroes of the pandemic by launching a comprehensive compensation system for those in the pandemic. ‘between them living with LongCovid,’ he said.
The appeal was supported by Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chairman of the Board of the British Medical Association (BMA), who said that a compensation scheme to support healthcare workers was “absolutely correct”.
He added: “After being exposed to an increased risk of frontline work during the Covid-19 pandemic, there are now healthcare workers across the country living with the debilitating long-term effects of having caught the virus.
“We have heard heartbreaking stories from doctors with long-term Covid disease, who are often unable to work, threatening their financial stability and affecting their lives at home.
“The dedication and selflessness shown by healthcare workers over the past year, and the debt of gratitude owed to them, cannot be underestimated.
“While government and employers need to redouble their efforts to protect staff now and prevent them from contracting Covid-19 in the first place, for some it is already too late.”
It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock said four major studies on the long-term effects of the coronavirus would be bolstered by $ 18.5 million in government funding.
He said: “I am keenly aware of the lasting and debilitating impact COVID can have on people of all ages, regardless of the extent of the initial symptoms.
Fatigue, headaches and shortness of breath can affect people for months after their COVID-19 infection, whether or not they required hospitalization to begin with.
In order to effectively help these people, we need to better understand COVID and identify therapies that can help with healing. This funding will launch four ambitious projects to achieve this.