Estimated reading time 2 minutes 2 Min

Inquiry into long Covid as Australian numbers drop to pre-Christmas low

A federal parliamentary committee will look at the impacts of long Covid and repeated infections as case numbers fall in Australia.

CORONAVIRUS COVID19 A parliamentary inquiry will examine the health, economic and educational impacts of long COVID.
September 5, 2022
By Andrew Brown
5 September 2022

The effects of long Covid will be put under the microscope as part of a new parliamentary inquiry, as case numbers in Australia fall to the lowest level since before Christmas.

There were 5841 cases reported across the country on Sunday – the nation’s lowest daily figure since just before Christmas last year, when there were 5710 new cases. However, this does not include figures from Queensland and the Northern Territory, which have stopped reporting weekend Covid-19 statistics.

The House of Representatives health committee into long Covid will examine the health, economic and educational impacts, as well as repeated infections.

(Diego Fedele/Getty)

It is expected the inquiry will also look into how long Covid is affecting groups that face a bigger risk of illness due to their age, health conditions or disability.

The inquiry’s chair, Labor MP Mike Freelander, said long COVID was emerging as a significant health issue.

“Currently, we have limited understanding of these issues, and it is hoped that this inquiry will build a picture of the health, educational and economic impacts long COVID and repeated COVID are having,” he said.

“The committee wants to draw upon the experience and insights of healthcare service providers supporting patients with long COVID and repeated COVID infections to better understand the impacts on Australia’s overall health system.”

Vice-president of AMA Queensland, Dr Nick Yim, said at the weekend that Australia’s response to the pandemic was shifting “towards the stage of personal responsibility”. 

Long Covid is where symptoms of the virus remain or develop several weeks after the initial infection.

The World Health Organisation has estimated between 10 and 20 per cent of people who have contracted Covid-19 will have ongoing symptoms after the initial infection.

Inquiry deputy chair, Liberal MP Melissa McIntosh, said diagnosis and treatment of long Covid would also be a key part of the committee’s work. Submissions will be open to members of the public until November 18.

More in Top Stories