AN Oxfordshire MP has called for the Government to recognise so-called Long Covid as an occupational disease.

Layla Moran, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, is leading an all-party inquiry into the Government's handling of the coronavirus.

Ahead of the first parliamentary debate on the disease yesterday, the group of MPs called for recognition that the long term effects the infection, including fatigue and scarring on the lungs, sometimes called Long Covid, as a disease which impacts health and care workers because of their jobs.

Lib Dem MP Ms Moran has been chairing the cross-party group's evidence hearings, including from health and care workers suffering as a result of the disease months after being infected.

Witnesses gave live evidence at a Tuesday hearing organised as part of the inquiry.

These included Dr Nathalie MacDermott, who said neurologists believe Covid has damaged her spinal cord, and she can only walk about 200 metres without some form of assistance.

Dr MacDermott, a clinical doctor sub-specialising in paediatric infectious diseases in the NHS, told MPs that employers need to understand that long Covid is a "genuine condition" and that people may need to be off work for a significant period of time.

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She added: "And I think we need better recognition in the public, particularly the younger public who think that they're invincible.

"I'm 38 and I wonder if I'll ever be able to walk properly without crutches again. Will this continue to get worse? Will I end up in a wheelchair?"

Ahead of the Commons debate on Covid, Ms Moran said 'reporting, research and recognition are all desperately needed' into the sks posed to health and care workers.

The APPG has suggested a long Covid compensation scheme for health and social care staff and key workers is needed.