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Oh no, not you again: This man is here to tell us some more bad news about Covid

Experts are set to give evidence on the impacts of long Covid-19 as health officials warn of a “long tail” in the pandemic.

Feb 17, 2023, updated Feb 17, 2023
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Paul Kelly during Senate Estimates at Parliament House in Canberra. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Paul Kelly during Senate Estimates at Parliament House in Canberra. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

A parliamentary inquiry examining long Covid will hold its next round of hearings on Friday, with a roundtable of experts from the Australian Academy of Science taking questions.

Deputy chair Melissa McIntosh said the committee aimed to find ways to help support patients dealing with long Covid in the future.

“The roundtable … will bring together experts in areas such as infectious diseases, epidemiology, immunology, mental health and public health,” she said.

“This is a great opportunity for the committee to hear from individuals at the forefront of Covid research and treatment.”

Other witnesses will include the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, people affected by long Covid and chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly.

The appearance at the committee follows a warning from Kelly of multiple waves of Covid on the horizon.

“There will be more waves in the future. I predict there will be at least another couple this year,” he told a Senate hearing.

“We have to learn lessons from this extraordinary time so that we can be more prepared for the future.”

Kelly said officials were continuing to look at long Covid and how it affected patients.

“There will be a long tail to this pandemic even once the acute phase is slowing down,” he said.

There have been 18,190 Covid-related deaths in Australia since the start of the pandemic, including 892 this year as of February 8.

Since March 2020, 5075 Covid deaths occurred in residential aged care, 3855 of them last year and 308 so far this year.

State and territory health authorities are due to release the latest weekly data on Covid deaths on Friday.

-AAP

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