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Researchers examine the effects of 'Long COVID'

Researchers into Long Covid use a bodyplethysmograph to check lung function Source: Getty

As the world grows weary from the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions are starting to vary wildly again between countries. Norway has done away with social distancing, as better vaccinated countries again promise to share their COVID-19 doses with others. In the United Kingdom, researchers are trying to gauge the ongoing internal damage of coronavirus, testing ways to diagnose what they call "long COVID".

In February last year, experts thought the COVID-19 recovery process took two weeks at most.  

A year later, however, data shows that one in ten patients continue to experience poor health for months after they first become infected, naming the phenomenon "long COVID".  

Now, researchers in the United Kingdom are using multiple organ MRI scans to diagnose the internal damage done by long COVID to patients.  

Rajarshi Banerjee, internal medicine specialist and CEO of Perspectum - a medical innovations company based in Oxford, says it's coming up in patients who weren't even very sick to begin with.

"A decent number of people who have had COVID, not necessarily severe in the acute phase, go on to develop multi-system inflammation affecting a variety of organs. These patients are severely debilitated and can suffer from fatigue, brain fog, heart disease and lung disease".

French President Emmanuel Macron has also pledged to double the number of vaccine doses it will send to poorer countries to 120 million.  

Meanwhile, a different approach to coronavirus management is taking place in Norway.  

The government ended social distancing measures over the weekend, with hospitality and entertainment venues back to full capacity and functioning.  

With some 76 per cent of all Norwegians having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 67 per cent of the population full vaccinated, authorities say living "COVID safe" will now be up to citizens.  

Positive cases will still have to isolate, however the onus is now on the individual to choose what risk they want to take and what measures they want to practice.  

Neither vaccination status certificates nor negative test results are required to enter such venues in Norway. 

The Nordic nation joins a small but growing number of countries, including Denmark and Britain, which have removed all domestic restrictions that limited the spread of COVID-19.

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People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 meters away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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