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Australian State Invests In Research Of Long Term Covid-19 Effects

Government is contributing millions to a study looking at “long Covid-19” effects and links between disease and unborn babies.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Research into the long-term effects of coronavirus and potential links between the disease and unborn babies have received a funding boost from the government of the south-eastern Australian state of Victoria.

Innovation and Medical Research Minister Jaala Pulford on April 22 announced AUD 2.3 million ($1.78 million) for the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s ‘Impact of Covid-19 on Organs’ project.

The funds will help scientists investigate cellular mechanisms leading to “long Covid” issues such as fatigue, cognitive difficulties, and ongoing breathing problems.

They will also analyze variants from Brazil, India, and the United Kingdom to understand the more infectious strains on the major human organs.

The funding will also allow researchers to get greater insight into the potential transfer of coronavirus to unborn babies and the effects of the virus on the placenta.

The money is from the state government’s AUD 31 million ($24.02 million) Covid-19 research fund.

“The Victorian Covid-19 research fund has been established to support Victorian-led research that directly contributes to discovering and mitigating the health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Seven projects will benefit from the Victorian government’s AUD 5.5 million ($4.26 million) Covid-19 research fund, which will support the work of Victoria’s world-leading research institutes to understand better transmission, immunity, and the long-term health impacts of coronavirus.”

“The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute will use human-derived stem cells to understand better the virus’s effects on different organ systems in the body, including the lung, heart, kidneys, brain, immune system, and blood vessels, to support the development of targeted treatments. The multi-agency study will include partners from the Doherty Institute, Monash University, and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute” as per the official website for the research fund.

AUD 2.3 million ($1.78 million) has been set aside for the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s ‘Impact of Covid-19 on Organs’ project. (Luis Ascui/AAP Image)

Pulford said Victoria is home to 14 independent medical research institutes, which employ more than 5800 people.

The sector supports more than 30,000 jobs across institutes, universities, and industries.

“Victoria is one of the few places in the world where research has been able to continue over the past 12 months, thanks to the work everyone has done to get on top of this wildly infectious virus,” Pulford said in a statement.

“The knowledge we’re building will help people now and for generations to come.”

It comes as Victoria has gone a 55th consecutive day without a locally acquired case, following 13,951 tests.

There were two new cases in hotel quarantine, bringing the total number of active topics in the state to 19.

More than 4500 Victorians received their Covid-19 vaccine in the 24 hours on April 22 morning.

(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Ojaswin Kathuria)