Patients hospitalized at Skopje’s Clinic for Infectious Diseases get proper treatment. Those admitted with COVID-19 are treated both for the infection and undergo physical therapy which improves mental and physical health and the functioning of the respiratory system, the Health Ministry said in a press release Monday.

Physical therapy for coronavirus patients at the Infectious Diseases Clinic features two segments: musculoskeletal therapy and breathing gymnastics.

There are multiple factors that influence which type of physical therapy is prescribed to a particular patient. Patients are divided according to the level of their mobility from those who can move on their own to those who are bedridden and they can show mild or several levels of more severe COVID-19 symptoms. Therefore, they undergo different combinations of exercises, which change in line with the patient’s health, said physical therapist Velimir Trichkovski who works with COVID-19 patients hospitalized at the Clinic for Infectious Diseases.

Breathing gymnastics has both preventative and therapeutic function. Patients who show mild symptoms can do exercises on their own several time a day to strengthen the muscles that play a role in the breathing process. Those with more severe symptoms perform exercises in the presence of a physical therapist. Patients who require oxygen support are advised to slowly take deep breaths, while those who have been put on ventilators are excluded from physical therapy.

Physical therapy also plays a role in improving patients’ mental health, the press release read.