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At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were many uncertainties around how Australia would be affected: how many cases and deaths would occur; how the health system would manage; how society would be disrupted; and whether there would be adverse affects on mental health and society.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released the report, ‘The first year of COVID-19 in Australia: direct and indirect health effects’.

The report has information on case numbers, deaths, burden of disease, impact on other diseases such as mental health, and changes in health behaviours. The impact on health services and on social determinants of health is also examined. It draws on data from a range of sources including disease surveillance systems, death registrations, hospitalisations, MBS and PBS, and surveys.

The report covers the first year of the pandemic, to around April/May 2021. Where possible, the most recent data available at the time of writing is included, however due to the timing of different data collections, some data are only available for periods within 2020. It does not include data on the latest wave of cases that began in June 2021. The full report can be found here: