The Australian authorities said that they are developing a national plan to deal with long COVID-19 cases, the country’s top doctor revealed.
The Chief Medical Officer,(CMO) Paul Kelly, on Friday appeared before a parliamentary inquiry into the impacts of long COVID-19, where he revealed that the government has tasked the Department of Health with developing the strategy.
He said there was no timeline for the strategy to be released, but that it would likely be finalised after the inquiry concludes so as to account for its findings.
According to a report published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in December, around five to 10 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Australia reported symptoms persisting for more than three months.
There had been more than 11.3 million confirmed Coronavirus infections in Australia since the start of the pandemic.
“Over the last week, 18,106 cases of COVID-19 were reported across Australia, an average of 2,587 cases per day,” the Department of Health said in an update.
Kelly said a clearer definition of long COVID-19 would be needed going forward to provide more information for health professionals.
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“The one we’re using at the moment, the WHO definition, they’re great for research purposes because they’re so broad,’’ he told the inquiry.
“But in terms of trying to actually understand this thing, we have to get beyond it, and if no one else is going to do it, then we should do it here.’’
In addition to Kelly, the inquiry also heard from experts from the Australian Academy of Science on the effects of long COVID-19.
Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Melissa McIntosh, the deputy chair of the inquiry, said it was aiming to improve support for patients.
“This is a great opportunity for the committee to hear from individuals at the forefront of COVID-19 research and treatment’’, she said. (Xinhua/NAN)