Ontario Science Table calls for provincial strategy to contain long-term COVID

Ontario Science Table calls for provincial strategy to contain long-term COVID

Ontario’s COVID-19 advisory body warns of the additional pressure COVID-19 could place on the province’s overburdened health care system.

The advice was issued on Wednesday by the Science Table, a group of independent experts who give their vision on provincial COVID-19 policy.

In a science briefing, the panel of experts warned that symptoms that persist after someone is infected with COVID-19 can reduce their quality of life and increase their dependence on others.

“More than 100 symptoms have been reported in people with the post-COVID-19 condition that involves multiple physiological systems,” the short text reads. “These distressing symptoms appear to be associated with poor quality of life, impaired function and limitations in people’s ability to work and care for themselves.”

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Data also suggests that people may develop new chronic health problems after being infected with COVID-19, the table said.

However, more than two years after the pandemic, a consensus is still forming.

“Current evidence is not sufficient to draw firm conclusions about how many people with the post-COVID-19 condition have overlapping limitations in their quality of life and ability to work or function,” the scientific briefing said.

In a statement last month, the advisory said it would be disbanded on Sept. 6, with the lengthy COVID study representing some of its latest work.

The outgoing panel of experts said “significant investments” in research, clinical care and health policy were needed to care for people with post-COVID-19 conditions in the future.

The effects, the scientific table argued, could also extend beyond traditional medical care.

For example, someone whose ability to work has been reduced due to prolonged COVID may require government assistance from the Ontario Disability Support Plan.

“A proactive and comprehensive strategy to manage the post-COVID-19 condition needs to be developed by health systems and policymakers,” the scientific briefing urged.

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Global News reached out to Ontario’s Department of Health to ask for a response to calls for a long-term COVID strategy.

“The ministry is aware of the report and is currently studying the findings,” a spokesperson said.

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