Situation “dramatic” – SPÖ demands long-Covid strategy from government

The SPÖ is demanding a strategy on Long Covid from the government. 170,000 people are currently affected by the disease, but the problem is largely ignored, complained deputy club chairman Jörg Leichtfried in a press conference. He warned of a “really dramatic” situation. SPÖ women’s chairwoman Eva Maria Holzleitner sees women in particular being affected and children at risk. With schools infested, youngsters would be driven into Long Covid.

In addition, there is the demand to generally accept Long Covid as an occupational disease. This is currently only to a limited extent, for example with medical and teaching staff, explained SP MP Rudolf Silvan. The advantage of classification as an occupational disease would be that the AUVA not only have to offer rehabilitation, but also high-quality retraining if the sick are no longer able to do their old job. So far only 7000 cases have been recognized as an occupational disease in Austria, according to Silvan the restriction to a few professional groups was handled very restrictively. In this country there are only 7000 corona cases that are recognized as occupational diseases. In Germany, which has ten times the population, it is 20 times more, i.e. 140,000. SPÖ criticism: No contact points, no studies, no numbers. Leichtfried warned not to take the economic, physical and mental side effects of Long Covid lightly. That’s why a strategy is needed. There are currently no contact points, no studies and no figures: “Stucking your head in the sand has never gotten any better.” For Holzleitner, the situation is “really dramatic”, all the more so for women, who are much more affected. According to studies, men have a 35 to 55 percent lower risk of contracting Long Covid. Therefore, when fighting the disease, one must also keep an eye on the gender-medical aspect. As far as the schools are concerned, they are heading towards an epidemic there. Holzeitner criticized that many more children would be driven to Long Covid disease, but at the same time no offers would be made to care for such cases. She recognizes a “surrender of the Ministry of Education”.

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