Cluster: COVID-19

Cluster: COVID-19

A cluster of topics related to COVID-19. COVID-19 is the abbreviated name for coronavirus disease 2019, a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus strain called SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan City, China and the outbreak was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020 by the WHO.

COVID-19 is the abbreviated name for coronavirus disease 2019, a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus strain called SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan City, China and the outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO). On March 11 the WHO stated that the COVID-19 outbreak is characterized as a pandemic, meaning worldwide spread. Nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as social distancing, quarantine and school and workplace closure were put in place to slow the spread of the virus.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, previously called 2019-nCoV, was described by researchers at the CAS Key Laboratory of Special Pathogens, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Center for Biosafety Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences by Peng Zhou and colleagues, led by Zheng-Li Shi.

COVID-19 treatments and vaccines

As of April 25, 2020 there are no drugs or other therapeutics that are FDA approved to prevent or treat COVID-19. There are also no FDA-approved vaccines to prevent COVID-19 or other coronaviruses (as of March 9, 2020). Treatments in development for COVID-19 focus on three primary areas: symptoms, anti-inflammation, and anti-viral growth. Certain treatments (below) have been granted FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) for treatment of COVID-19. EUA authorizations may allow unapproved medical products or the use of approved medical products for unapproved uses in an emergency to diagnose, treat or prevent serious or life-threatening conditions or diseases.

Strategies and targets

Proteins, enzymes and processes that allow virus entry into cells or virus replication within cells are potential drug targets. The SARS-CoV-2 virus gains entry into human cells through the spike (S) protein, also called S-glycoprotein, which binds to the ACE2 receptor of human cells. Spike proteins cover coronaviruses, the virus group which includes SARS-CoV-2, MERS and SARS viruses, giving them their crown or corona appearance. Both the S-protein (S-glycoprotein) and the ACE2 receptor have protein modifications called N-linked glycosylation that are important for the ability of the virus to gain entry and also play a role in the virus evading immune detection.

Drugs that calm or modulate the immune system could potentially prevent complications such as acute respiratory disease syndrome and acute lung injury that occur when the immune system overreacts to infection. Anticytokine therapies target the overproduction of proinflammatory cytokines, referred to as a cytokine storm, that can lead to severe complications such as vascular hyperpermeability and multiorgan failure. An adequate inflammatory response must be maintained for the body to clear the pathogen.

Treatments granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)

Hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroqine phosphate products were granted EUA authorization by the FDA on March 28, 2020. Chloroquine is quinoline derivative and a drug in widespread use since 1945 for treatment of malaria, autoimmune and other conditions. Chloroquine is being investigated to treat COVID-19 in the form of chloroquine phosphate or hydroxychloroquine sulfate which are sometimes referred to as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine respectively. Chloroquine is reported to be giving favorable results in clinical testing against COVID-19.

Remdesivir was granted emergency use authorization by the FDA on May 1, 2020.

Lists of potential treatments, vaccines, and diagnostics of COVID-19 in development

The following COVID-19 treatments are experimental or in development unless otherwise specified. Treatments may have emergency use authorization from the FDA while still in experimental stage. Some drugs designed and approved to treat other diseases are being tested for COVID-19.

COVID-19 potential treatments and interventions

Treatment / intervention
Other uses
Mechanism of action



Phase III


IL-6 inhibitor


Southeast Univ, China

Phase II

Treat pneumonia / sepsis

PD-1 inhibitor

Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2


Antibody against CXCL10

Calm overactive immune response responsible for ARDS and ALI

Antibody against TLR4

Calm overactive immune response responsible for ARDS and ALI

APN01, recombinant ACE2

Clinical trials

Binds to virus preventing it from interacting with ACE2 receptor on lung cells

ASC09/ritonavir, lopinavir/ritonavir, with or without umifenovir

Clinical trials

HIV, influenza (umifenovir)



Phase II


IL-6 inhibitor

Bevacizumab (Avastin)

Clinical trial


VEGF inhibitor, for lung complications

Brilacidin (treatment or vaccine)


Defensin memetic, immune system modulation

Approved in Japan for chronic pancreatitis, post operative reflux esophagitis

Inhibits protease TMPRSS2 which is needed for viral entry into cell

Clinical trials

Camrelizumab is used for hepatocellular carcinoma and Hodgkin lymphoma. Thymosin is used for the prevention of HCC in chronic hepatitis B and C and therapeutic treatment of HCC.

Humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb) targeting PD-1 (Camrelizumab)



Phase III


IL-6 inhibitor


Montreal Health Institute

Phase III


Tubulin disruption

Convalescent plasma

Donald Arnold (McMaster University), Canadian Blood Services, Héma-Québec

Clinical trial upcoming

Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients contains antibodies against SARS-CoV-2

Arturo Casadevall, Johns Hopkins University

FDA approval

Antibodies from serum of individual recovered from COVID-19 provide prevention or treatment

COVID-HIG, human immune globulin, antibody

Emergent BioSolutions, BARDA

Antibodies from recovered individuals

D-NAC, Dendrimer N-Acetyl Cysteine

Ashvattha Therapeutics, Johns Hopkins University

Clinical trials

Cytokine Storm Syndrome, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Convert reactive M1-like macrophages in cytokine storm syndrome into less reactive M2-like macrophages.

Clinical trials

Hepatitis C, HIV (ritonavir)

Hepatitis C protease inhibitor (Ganovo)

Clinical trial


Darunavir is an HIV-1 protease inhibitor, Cobicist is an inhibitor of cytochrome P450 (CYP)3A enzyme

Clinical trial

Influenza, Ebola

Viral RNA polymerase inhibitor, guanine analog

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COVID-19 vaccine development

Vaccine type
Team members

Protein subunit; S protein


Non-replicating viral vector; adenovirus-based NasoVAX expressing spike protein





Pre-clinical; Animal trials begin in April 2020


Company is in "advanced" discussions with Pfizer

Pre-clinical; Phase 1 to start late April 2020

Non-replicating viral vector; Adenovirus Type 5 vector (Ad5-nCoV); spike protein


Spike protein vaccine plus adjuvants

Chengdu Hi-Tech Park, Chengdu Center for Public Health, GlaxoSmithKline


Deoptimized live attenuated


Animal data in summer 2020


Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI; European Commission

Pre-clinical; start Phase 1 in June 2020

Inhalable exosome antigen/virus like particle

Centivax universal vaccine technology

Protein subunit; Drosophila S2 insect cell expression system VLPs


Protein subunit, peptide


RNA; LNP-encapsulated mRNA cocktail encoding RBD


RNA; LNP-encapsulated mRNA cocktail encoding VLP


Protein subunit; li-Key peptide


Non-replicating viral vector; MVA encoded VLP


German Center for Infection Research (DZIF)

Live attenuated virus, measles virus


Adenovirus vector, with SARS-CoV-2 sequence

Animal testing

HaloVax (Joint venture between Hoth Therapeutics and Voltron Therapeutics)/The Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital

Self-assembling vaccine (fusion protein of a heat shock protein and Avidin, with biotinylated immunogenic peptides)

Pre-clinical; Animal study results by October 2020

gp96 protein platform designed to induce an immune response

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Vaccine manufacturing

Exothera, is a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), launched by Univercells in March, 2020 plans to work on vaccines for COVID-19 through supporting vaccine innovators and providing manufacturing services.

Vaccine technologies

SpyBiotech developed SpyTag/SpyCatcher technology to bind antigens to virus like particles (VLPs).

Vaccine and therapeutics delivery and storage

Vaxess Technologies has a drug patch delivery system (MIMIX) allowing self-administration of vaccines or therapeutics without need for refrigerated storage or syringes.

COVID-19 diagnostics and screening

COVID-19 diagnostic testing is performed on sputum, nose and throat swabs. As of early March, 2020, governments have restricted COVID-19 testing to central health agencies or a few accredited laboratories for a real-time reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR)-based protocol selected by the WHO. Reverse transcription means a reverse transcriptase enzyme is used to convert RNA template to cDNA before PCR amplification. Real-time PCR is sometimes called quantitative PCR (qPCR or qRT-PCR). The COVID-19 real-time RT-PCR test detects the presence of the E gene of SARS-CoV-2, coding for the envelope surrounding the viral shell and the gene for the enzyme RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Once samples are received in a laboratory, it takes 24-48 hours for results. The tests are showing to be accurate by confirmation with whole genome sequencing. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an RT-PCR assay that includes primers for the nucleocapsid phosphoprotein in the virus shell and for the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene. In the UK, COVID-19 testing is done by accredited laboratories. In the US COVID-19 testing was initially done exclusively by the CDC which later began sending out RT-PCR test kits to state health laboratories. Some clinical tests on sale in the US have been made available under CLIA waivers, which regulate the facility where the tests are conducted, rather than the tests themselves. The FDA announced on February 29 that CLIA-certified labs do not need to obtain emergency use authorisation (EUA).

Besides real-time RT-PCR, other diagnostic tests being developed use CRISPR- or antibody-based methods or serological tests such as ELISA and lateral flow immunoassay. Antibodies can be used as probes to detect virus. For serological tests, antibodies produced by a person exposed to the virus are detected in blood samples. Antibodies are still found in patients after they recover from the illness.

The FDA issued a policy March 16, 2020 to accelerate the availability of COVID-19 diagnostic tests which includes the following: Each state takes responsibility for tests developed and used by their laboratories and labs developing tests engage directly with state authorities; the FDA does not intend to object to the distribution of tests after validation and during preparation of an EUA request; Recommendations are provided for developers of serological tests which identify antibodies or proteins in the blood in response to infection.

Many diagnostic or screening methods are in development and still need verification. The aim is to develop diagnostic tests that could potentially be deployed more widely in hospitals and clinics and with quicker turn-around times. The purpose of diagnostics and screening is not only for patient isolation but also for overall monitoring of the spread of COVID-19. The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) is a global non-profit organization concerned with the development and delivery of diagnostics for diseases that affect poor populations. FIND is collaborating with the WHO and a third-party, referral laboratory to conduct an independent evaluations of SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests in order to verify manufacturer’s claims, and establish diagnostic accuracy. Results will be shared with the global health community.

As of April, 2020, the majority of COVID-19 nucleic acid tests use real-time RT-PCR that targets ORF1b, ORF8, nucleocapsid (N), spike (S) protein, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) or envelope (E) genes of SARS-CoV-2. Samples tested are usually swabs from the upper respiratory system but it is possible to use serum, stool, ocular secretions or saliva.

Viral load and disease severity

In real time PCR, cycle threshold (Ct) is the number of cycles for the fluorescent signal to exceed background level. Ct levels are inversely proportional to the amount of target nucleic acid, which is the amount of SARS-CoV-2 virus present, also known as viral load. Higher viral load and lower Ct has been correlated with disease severity, lung lesions with margins not easily differentiated and changes in follow-up CT (computed tomography) in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. Patients with severe COVID-19 have been reported to have a higher viral load and longer virus-shedding period compare with mild disease.Another research study from China showed no correlation between viral load and disease severity. Viral loads in nasal swabs between symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals were not significantly different in an Italian study. In addition to real-time RT-PCR, digital PCR (digital RT-PCR) has been applied to studies on viral load to study disease progression.

COVID-19 diagnostics and screening

Key components
Clinical use
Certificatiton or approval

A Real Time RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 moving to sequencing at >10,000 per week


Saliva/sputum based at home or clinical kit

UK and Europe

FDA EUA, collection kit CE

Antibody-based probe, SARS antibody

National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) Taiwan

COVID-19 antigen

SARS antibody test strip recognizes COVID-19


CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel

identification of 2019-nCoV RNA

in vitro diagnostic test, the product contains oligonucleotide primers and dual-labeled hydrolysis probes (TaqMan®)


Sensitivity of CT for COVID-19 infection was 98% compared to RT-PCR sensitivity of 71%


Laboratory Corporation of America

detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2


Cepheid, Sherlock Biosciences


N gene, E gene

RNA extraction, isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP), primers, Cas12a, lateral flow strip signal


Orf1ab, Orf1b, RdRp

Cas12a, RT-RPA, plate reader or lateral flow strip


S gene, Orf1ab gene

RNA extraction, isothermal amplification (RT-RPA), Cas13, lateral flow strip signal

Diagnostic masks

Virus levels in exhaled air

Adapted with 3D printed strips that trap exhaled air and measure the amount of virus

Used for tuberculosis

Lyra SARS-CoV-2 Assay

detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2

Used with molecular testing infrastructure such as the Applied Biosystems® 7500 Fast DX instruments


Metagenomics, Explify Respiratory, sequencing

Respiratory pathogens

Specimens mailed to approved laboratories

Microfluidic chip, PCR, POC

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Shenzhen Shineway

Microfluidic PCR, silicon-based microheater, portable PCR analyser

International CE certification (EU standard) and qualified for export to EU and Hong Kong

New York SARS-CoV-2 Real-time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Panel

detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2

Clinical diagnostic molecular virology testing


OZO Diamond SARS-CoV-2 IgM/IgG Duo Rapid Test kit


N Protein + S1 (RDB) Protein

One-step LFIA based IgM/IgG antibody rapid test kit. IgG Accuracy - 98.80%, IgM Accuracy - 99%

CE-IVD Certified, EU-Approved (CIBG, Ministry of Health, Welfare & Sport, Netherlands)

OZO Gold SARS-CoV-2 IgM/IgG Duo Rapid Test kit


N Protein

One-step LFIA based IgM/IgG antibody rapid test kit. IgG accuracy = 98%, IgM accuracy = 94%

CE-IVD Certified, EU-Approved (CIBG, Ministry of Health, Welfare & Sport, Netherlands)

OZO RT-PCR Combo 1


ORF 1ab and N gene

Detects the specfic nucleic acids from the SARS-CoV-2 Cirus. Sensitivity = 94.5% (CI:95%), Specificity = 98.96% (CI:95%)


OZO RT-PCR Combo 2


ORF 1ab and N gene

Coronavirus RNA detection by one-step RT-PCR. Sensitivity = 100%, Specificity = 100%


Panther Fusion SARS-CoV-2

identification of the virus causing COVID-19



Emergency approval by China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA)

PCR, Biochip

Panel of 6 coronaviruses, multiplex PCR

Quest SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR

Quest Diagnostics Infectious Disease, Inc.

detection of COVID-19

qualitative multi-target molecular diagnostics


RT-Digital PCR (COVID-19 RT-Digital PCR Detection kit)

Gnomegen, Todos Medical (distribution)



Christian Drosten, Charité University Hospital, Berlin, WHO

E gene, RdRp gene

RNA extraction, reverse transcription RT-PCR


Hong Kong University

Orf1b gene, N gene

RNA extraction, reverse transcription RT-PCR

Reference test sent to WHO and other labs.

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For more information on diagnostics and screening, see COVID-19 testing.

Materials for diagnostics, treatments and vaccines

Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) is manufacturing virus detection panels and positive and negative controls for COVID-19 treatment and vaccine development.

COVID-19 research

COVID-19 sequencing and analysis

Sequencing the genetic code of SARS-CoV-2 from different patient samples is used to understand how the virus changes over time. For example, how it moved from a disease affecting animals to a human disease and how it became infectious in humans. Besides SARS-CoV-2, sequencing of related viral genomes from different contexts such as wild animal populations would be part of this line of research. Such research can prevent future outbreaks. By understanding the conditions that enabled SARS-CoV-2 to appear, a future virus may be prevented from following similar path.

  • Arbor Biosciences offering free kits for sequencing virus samples
  • GenapSys provides affordable next-generation sequencing machines
  • Illumina and IDbyDNA collaborated to provide next-generation sequencing workflows focused in microbiology and infectious disease
  • NVIDIA offers NVIDIA Parabricks Genomics Analysis Toolkit which provides GPU-accelerated genomic analysis
  • MGI Tech Co., Ltd. provides DNBSEQ-T7, a sequencing platform that can generate 1-6Tb of high quality data per day

Distributed computing projects

Folding@home launched a program in March 2020 to assist researchers around the world who are working on finding a cure and learning more about the COVID-19 outbreak. The initial wave of projects have been used to simulate potentially druggable protein targets from SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the related SARS-CoV virus, of which there is much more data available.

Other distributed computing projects include:

Immune response to COVID-19

COVID-19 Biomarkers

Data mining

Virtual drug screening

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has virtual screening software which it used to evaluate two million drug compounds agianst SARS-CoV-2. SwRI is partnered with Texas Biomedical Research Institute and their Rhodium software can scan 250,000 drug compounds using machine learning techniques.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) used its supercomputer to identify 77 small-molecule compounds as potential SARS-CoV-2 drugs which are likely to bind the novel coronavirus main spike protein which could prevent it from infecting cells.

Insilico Medicine is using an AI-based drug discovery pipeline to identify drug molecules that could target 3C-like protease. 3C-like protease is a SARS-CoV-2 protein that is a target for potential drugs because it has a central role in the viral replication cycle. A portion will be tested by Insilico Medicine and the remainder of the potentially useful structures will be published on the company website and available to the public (

Materials and products related to COVID-19 prevention

According to available evidence, the COVID-19 virus is transmitted between people through close contact and droplets produced by sneezing and coughing. The COVID-19 virus does not appear to be transmitted by airborne transmission. Preventative measures include: hand hygiene with alcohol-based sanitizers or soap and water; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; coughing or sneezing into elbow or tissue; wearing a medical mask if you have symptoms and hand hygiene after disposing of mask; maintaining social distance of 1 m from individuals with respiratory symptoms.

Protective mask recommendations

The WHO has guidelines that recommend health care workers cover their mouth and nose with surgical masks and the CDC put out instructions for health care workers to wear N95 masks (N95 respirators). N95 masks are thicker and fit more snugly around the mouth and nose, blocking smaller particles than surgical masks. Both types of masks help prevent the spread of droplets from a cough or sneeze from reaching the mask-wearer’s mouth or nose. During the SARS coronavirus outbreak a study found that any type of mask or respirator reduced the risk of infections in health care workers by 85 percent. The CDC recommends that health care workers wear a respirator, also called an N95 mask, when around potential COVID-19 patients, which filters out more particles than a surgical mask. The CDC has a list of N95 masks approved by the National Institute for Occupations Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Infected patients who wear surgical masks are less likely to spread infection to others. The CDC instructed hospitals to request a patient wear a surgical mask if they have a fever or respiratory illness, recently traveled to Wuhan or have come in contact with someone who traveled there.

The purchasing of protective face masks by the public is feared to cause a shortage for health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to healthcare workers, a shortage of protective masks would slow scientific research on treatments and vaccines to SARS-CoV-2 since personnel need to be protected from the pathogens that they work with in the lab. For healthy asymptomatic individuals, who are not healthcare workers or caring for patients at home, wearing of a face mask is not recommended by the WHO. The WHO stated on February 27, 2020, “The capacity to expand PPE production is limited, and the current demand for respirators and masks cannot be met, especially if the widespread, inappropriate use of PPE continues”, referring to surges in global demand driven by misinformation, panic buying and stockpiling.

The CDC initially recommended that the general public not wear face masks unless they are sick or caring for a person who is sick. However, on April 3, 2020, the CDC recommended that the general public voluntarily wear a facial covering when out in a public space where social distancing guidelines are difficult to maintain. The CDC published guides for how to make a variety of face masks using common materials. 2013 Research on influenza transmission suggests that homemade facial coverings and masks made from household items like 100% cotton t-shirts, scarves, and tea towels can block some aerosolized bacteria and viruses, but they are not as effective as commercially available surgical masks. The paper states that "an improvised mask should be viewed as the last possible alternative if a supply of commercial face masks is not available, irrespective of the disease against which it may be required for protection."

For more information, see Surgical mask.

Manufacturers of face masks, surgical masks, and respirators (including N95)

Other personal protective equipment

For medical staff, in addition to masks, personal protective equipment (PPE) includes faceshields, gowns, bouffant caps and gloves. For more information go to Personal protective equipment.

Hand sanitizer

Hand washing is recommended over the use of hand sanitizer, but alcohol-based hand sanitizers provide some benefit against the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and are recommended for use when hand washing is not available. Both hand washing and alcohol-based hand sanitizers target viral envelopes. The increased purchasing of hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a shortage of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Numerous distilleries in Canada and US distilleries have begun manufacturing hand sanitizer.

Chemical disinfection

An analysis of 22 studies concluded that human coronaviruses such as SARS, MERS and endemic human coronaviruses (HCoV) can persist on surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days. The study found that the viruses can be inactivated within 1 minute by surface disinfection procedures with 64-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxice or 0.1% sodium hypchlorite. Biocidal agents such as 0.05-0.2% benzalkonium chloride or 0.02% chlorhexidine digluconate were found to be less effective.

Vaporized hydrogen peroxide

VHP is commonly used to decontaminate rooms, but it has been shown to be effective in sterilizing N95 masks without degradation of their performance. The systems usually use about 1000 ppm VHP, so some amount of evaporation is needed to allow the levels to drop below the NIOSH recommended level of 1ppm.

Environmental monitoring

Chai Bio will release a test that can be used with swabbing of areas like door handles and hard surfaces in the environment for SARS-CoV-2 testing. The test is intended for detection of the novel coronavirus in schools, senior centers, first responders, hackerspaces and community labs, public health departments and individuals. The Foundation is working with Chai to make machines and test kits available in communities and makerspaces through board donations and has interest in promoting the technology around the world.

Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) was used to test for SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in aeorsols collected on gelatin filters in patient and medical staff areas at Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuchang Fangcang Field Hospital and public areas in Wuhan.

UV sanitizing devices

UV sanitizers use ultraviolet C (UVC) light which kills bacteria and viruses.

CleanSlate UV is a Toronto-based company that produces devices that sanitize items with UV light. Their UV light devices are used in hospitals to for staff to sanitize stethoscopes, badges and phones.

PhoneSoap is a Utah-based company that produces UV devices for cleaning and charging items such as phones, smart watches, keys, and tablets.

Xenex Disinfection Services is a company that provides ultraviolet disinfectant robots. Their technologies kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms in hospital rooms, emergency departments, and ambulances. They have provided robot systems to Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Italy, and Houston.

Far-UVC light

Conventional UVC light sources are a hazard to humans due to being carcinogenic and cataractognic. Far-UVC light generated by filtered excimer lamps emitting in the range of 207-222 nm wavelength inactivates bacteria and viruses without harming exposed mammalian skin. Far-UVC has strong absorbance in biological materials and cannot penetrate the outer layer of human skin nor the outer tear layer on the outer surface of the eye. Far-UVC can traverse and inactivate bacteria and viruses because they are typically at dimensions of microns or smaller. UVC was shown to inactivate airborne aerosolized H1N1 influenza viruses by researchers at Columbia University in 2018. The authors propose the use of very low dose-rate far-UVC overhead light in indoor public locations as a tool to reduce the spreading of airborne-mediated microbial diseases.

Robots and drones

UVD Robots developed by the Denmark-based company UVD Robots ApS are UV disinfecting robots that have been deployed in hospitals in China to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. UV-C light is emitted to kill viruses and bacteria.

XAG is an agricultural technology company whose agricultural robots and drones have been adapted for testing scenarios to spray disinfectant to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and have been deployed in Guangzhou. High concentrated disinfectants can be sprayed from drone nozzles or robot jet sprayers and diluted with moisture in the air and potential targets include hospitals and schools.

Textiles and fabrics

Sonovia is a textile company that developed an anti-pathogen fabric that was sent to labs in China to be tested for use as a preventative measure against spread of COVID-19.

Antimicrobial coating

There are a number of antimicrobial coatings that are effective against certain viruses but have not yet been tested against SARS-CoV-2.

Multilevel Antimicrobial Polymer (MAP-1) developed at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) with Chiaphua Industries kills viruses, bacteria and spores. MAP-1 can be made into hand sanitizers, paints, coatings, and incorporated into air and water filters, clothing and surgical masks.


Air filtration

GAC and Geely Automobile Holdings are upgrading their in-vehicle air filtration systems to match effectiveness of an N95 mask to protect passengers form viral outbreaks.

For information about fraudulent COVID-19 products, see Food and Drug Administration.

Critical care equipment

Airway management

Equipment used for airway management includes endotracheal tubes, introducers and stylets.


For more information, see Medical ventilator.

Oxygen Concentration

For more information, see Oxygen concentrator.

Other Respiratory Treatments

For more information, see Respiratory care.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)

Critical COVID-19 cases may also show multiorgan and systemic manifestations such as sepsis, septic shock and multiple organ dysfunction (MOD). In addition to respiratory support extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) may be necessary. ECMO is a machine similar to a heart-lung by-pass machine used in open-heart surgery. The device pumps and oxygenates the patient’s blood outside the body so that the heart and lungs can rest.

Infectious disease tracking

BlueDot is an AI company that tracks, contextualizes and anticipates infectious disease risks. BlueDot’s system identified an article in Chinese on Dec. 31, 2019, about “pneumonia of unknown cause” and issued an alert to its clients almost one week before the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization issued their public alerts. BlueDot’s analysis of the likely destinations for spread of 2019-nCoV (SARS-CoV-2) in the Journal of Travel Medicine.

A GitHub repository and web-based dashboard to visualize and track SARS-CoV-2 reported cases has been made available by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The primary source for the dashboard is DXY, an online resource run by members of the medical community in China.

HealthMap has released an interface for SARS-CoV-2.

Zoe, a health science company headquartered in London, originally started as a nutrition science company, but it launched a COVID-19 symptom tracker and online dashboard for the United Kingdom. The company says it has gathered data from over 1 million volunteer contributors.

Metabiota is an epidemic tracker for providing risk analysis for the impact of epidemics on animal and human health.

A shared electronic list of SARS-CoV-2 cases is available through crowdsourcing and automated information retrieval.

American Enterprise Institute offers live tracking and updates of state level strategies for 2019-nCov through their @COVID2019action Twitter, and they offer news and analysis on the measures states and individuals can or are taking to combat infection and spread.

The COVID Tracking Project is a nonprofit online organization focused on tracking and collection data on SARS-CoV-2 and any testing and results of testing in the United States and related territories. They offer raw data spreedsheets and an API through their site.

GISAID is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the collection of influenza related data and genome sequencing who are working to study and track the sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 and related clinical and epidemiological data.

Nextstrain is working to collect and incorporate all available data on SARS-CoV-2 genomes and provide analysis and situation reports. They are also working to build a database on the genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 with data provided from GISAID.

Worldometer offers a live tracker for SARS-CoV-2 related data, including case reports, death rates, countries, incubation, age, symptoms and news.

Tracking by US state and county

Clinical trials for COVID-19

Study type
Responsible party
Start date
End date
Enrollment (estimate)

Other: Placebo

Drug: Remdesivir



National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

February 21, 2020

April 1, 2023 (estimated)

Drug: Remdesivir

Drug: Remdesivir placebo



Bin Cao, China-Japan Friendship Hospital

February 12, 2020

April 27, 2020 (estimated)

Phase 3


Drug: Remdesivir

Drug: Remdesivir placebot



Bin Cao, China-Japan Friendship Hospital

February 6, 2020

May 1, 2020 (estimated)

Phase 3


Biological: MSCs-derived exosomes



Ruijin Hospital

February 15, 2020

July 31, 2020 (estimated)

Drug: Bevacizumab Injection



Qilu Hospital of Shandong University

February 2020

May 2020 (estimated)

Drug: Sildenafil citrate tablets



Qin Ning, Tongji Hospital

February 1, 2020

November 9, 2020 (estimate)

Phase 3


Drug: Abidol hydrochloride

Drug: Oseltamivir

Drug: Lopinavir/ritonavir



Qin Ning, Tongji Hospital

February 1, 2020

July 1, 2020 (estimated)

Phase 4


Drug: Abidol hydrochloride

Drug: Abidol Hydrochloride combined with Interferon atomization



Qin Ning, Tongji Hospital

February 1, 2020

July 1, 2020 (estimated)

Phase 4


Drug: ASC09F+Oseltamivir

Drug: Ritonavir+Oseltamivir

Drug: Oseltamivir



Qin Ning, Tongji Hospital

February 1, 2020

July 1, 2020 (estimated)

Phase 3


Other: standard operating procedures


Treatment / management

Pierachille Santus, MD, PhD, University of Milan

March 19, 2020

December 31, 2020 (estimate)

Drug: Bevacizumab



Qilu Hospital of Shandong University

March 12, 2020

May 31, 2020 (estimate)

Not applicable


Other: Questionnaire with precaution information

Other: Experimental: Questionnaire without precaution information


Health services research / management

OUYANG Jian, Guangzhou Blood Center

March 12, 2020

April 9, 2020 (estimate)

Drug: Chloroquine

Drug: Placebo



University of Oxford

May 2020

May 2022 (estimate)

Other: prospective analysis



Institut National de la Santé Et de la Recherche Médicale, France

February 7, 2020

August 7, 2023 (estimated)

Subjects recruited from the hospitals that are in partnership with clinical research collaboration of National Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Diseases


Management: To clarify the clinical characteristics, risk factors and long-term prognosis of children with 2019-nCoV infection in China

Kunling Shen, Beijing Children's Hospital

February 15, 2020

December 31, 2020 (estimated)

Not applicable


Analysis of COVID-19 patient characteristics


Management: To determine the effectiveness of ACE2 inhibitors for treating COVID-19

Dongying Zhang, Chongqing Medical University

January 25, 2020

April 30, 2020 (estimated)

Other: compare the characteristics of disease progression, clinical features, disease severity and therapeutic effect of different types of COVID-19


Management: to understand the disease progression, clinical characteristics, disease severity and treatment effects related to COVID-19

Xiuling Shang, Fujian Provincial Hospital

January 1, 2020

July 31, 2020 (estimated)

Drug: Arbidol

Other: basic treatment



Jieming QU, Ruijin Hospital

February 7, 2020

December 30, 2020 (estimate)

Phase 4


Drug: TCM prescriptions



Jiangsu Famous Medical Technology Co., Ltd.

March 2, 2020

May 2020 (estimate)

Not applicable


Drug: Lopinavir/ritonavir

Drug: Hydroxychloroquine sulfate



Sung-Han Kim, Asan Medical Center

March 11, 2020

May 2020 (estimate)

Phase 2


Analysis of data associated with critically ill COVID-19 patients


Management: To describe the characteristics, organ dysfunction and support and 2 week outcomes of critically ill patients with nCov infection

Lowell Ling, Chinese University of Hong Kong

February 14, 2020

February 25, 2020

Not applicable


Other: CT score



Ruilan Wang, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine

January 31, 2020

February 18, 2020

Retrospective study


Other: analysis of COVID-19 in multiple organ systems from isolated COVID-19 patients



Liang Peng, Third Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University

January 20, 2020

February 28, 2021

Diagnostic Test: New QIAstat-Dx fully automatic multiple PCR detection platform



Wen-hong Zhang, Huashan Hospital

March 14, 2020

December 1, 2020 (estimate)

Diagnostic Test: Recombinase aided amplification (RAA) assay



Yao Xie, Beijing Ditan Hospital

January 1, 2020

December 31, 2020 (estimated)

Page 1 of 4

Medical journals and COVID-19 resource centers

Services related to COVID-19

Contact tracing

Drive-through COVID-19 testing

Drive-through clinics in Goyang South Korea allow people to stay in their cars as sample are taken from their noses and throats from staff in protective clothing. Samples are tested on site and the user receives a phone call or text message of their result and placed in isolation. The UK is also opening COVID-19 drive-throughs.

Verily, a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is developing plans for a website for Americans to find screening tests for COVID-19 and direct them to drive through clinics.

Mobile apps related to COVID-19

Corona 100m is an app in South Korea that alerts users if they are within 100m of a location the government marked as a high-risk area for COVID-19. The app uses public government data and can see the date a patient was confirmed with the disease, demographic data and their location history.

The Japanese medical advice company Agree, offers a free app for limited time that allows users in Japan to consult with doctors about their symptoms, which prevents overtaxing medical centers.

Apple is evaluating coronavirus apps to prevent the spread of misinformation and had reportedly rejected apps that are not from recognized institutions like governments or hospitals.

GYANT is an AI-enabled Healthcare chatting application for diagnosis. In March 2020, Gyant launched a free COVID-19 Emergency Response Assistant. It uses AI chat to check for COVID-19 symptoms and pertinent risk factors, then navigates patients to appropriate health system resources and care settings.

On March 13th, 2020, K Health (an AI-powered health app) began offering free virtual primary care for COVID-19, including unlimited access to U.S. doctors free for 14 days.

Curai Health, Carbon Health, and Babylon Health are digital health care providers that offer Covid-19 assessments via mobile or desktop.

No-contact food delivery

Many food delivery companies are adding "no contact" delivery as an optional component of their service. If a customer elects for no contact or "contactless" delivery, there is no direct contact between the customer who ordered the food and the driver who is delivering it.


March 16, 2020

Moderna Therapeutics vaccine trial starts

November 19, 2019

China’s first confirmed Covid-19 case traced back to November 17



Helen Branswell

Senior Writer, Infectious Disease

Jon Cohen

Staff writer with Science Magazine

Kai Kupferschmidt

Contributing correspondent for Science magazine

Marc Lipsitch

Professor of Epidemiology

Robert Redfield

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Further reading


Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a SARS-CoV-2 receptor: molecular mechanisms and potential therapeutic target

Haibo Zhang, Josef M. Penninger, Yimin Li, Nanshan Zhong, Arthur S. Slutsky


March 3, 2020

Authors' response: Plenty of coronaviruses but no SARS-CoV-2

Chantal B Reusken, Bart Haagmans, Adam Meijer, Victor M Corman, Anna Papa, Remi Charrel, Christian Drosten, Marion Koopmans


February 27, 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE

John Hopkins


Coronavirus puts drug repurposing on the fast track

Charlotte Harrison


February 27, 2020

COVID-19: Resources Available to Address Concerns

American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHAE)


Functional assessment of cell entry and receptor usage for SARS-CoV-2 and other lineage B betacoronaviruses

Michael Letko, Andrea Marzi, Vincent Munster


February 24, 2020

Genetic diversity and evolution of SARS-CoV-2

Tung Phan


Guidelines for pregnant women with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection

Guillaume Favre, Leo Pomar, Xiaolong Qi, Karin Nielson-Saines, Didier Musso, and David Baud


Multivariate Analyses of Codon Usage of SARS-CoV-2 and other


Haogao Gu, Daniel Chu, Malik Peiris, Leo L.M. Poon



Reconciling early-outbreak estimates of the basic reproductive number and its uncertainty: framework and applications to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak

Sang Woo Park, Benjamin M. Bolker, David Champredon, David Earn, Michael Lie, Joshua Weitz, Bryan Grenfell, and Jonathan Dushoff



SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in Upper Respiratory Specimens of Infected Patients

Lirong Zou, Feng Ruan, Mingxing Huang, Lijun Liang, Huitao Huang, Zhongsi Hong, Jianxiang Yu, Min Kang, Yingchao Song, Jinyu Xia, Qianfang Guo, Tie Song, Jianfeng He, Hui-Ling Yen, Malik Peiris, Jie Wu


February 19, 2020

Viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples

Yang Pan, Daitao Zhang, Peng Yang, Leo M Poon, and Quanyi Wang


February 24, 2020

Documentaries, videos and podcasts





June 29, 2020
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik held a video conference with collectors and SPs of the state and discussed the strategy to be implemented to contain the spread of Covid-19 in July
Maisha Frost
June 28, 2020
PRODUCT designer Wideblue is stepping up production of a new handheld device designed to help NHS staff quickly identify if Covid-19 patients need a ventilator and check their breathing as they recover.
June 27, 2020
Amidst the Corona crisis which has hit every sector including healthcare, innovations seem to be the talk of the town. As healthcare service providers are grappling with an ongoing crisis due to corona and following national lockdown, they are looking for feasible solutions which can help them sustain the tough time.
June 26, 2020
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that elaborate arrangements are being made at all the airports in the state to receive the Pravasi Malayalees who are coming back in large numbers amid the COVID-19 crisis.Addressing the media on Thursday, the Chief Minister said: The Foreign Ministry has scheduled 111 chartered flights and 43 flights under the Vande Bharat Mission to Kerala from June 25 to 30. Yesterday itself, 72 flights arrived from overseas. We are expecting 40-50 flights per day from tomorrow.There are more flights to Kochi and Kozhikode. Taking this into account, extensive arrangements are being made at every airport. Antibody kits for conducting COVID tests have been delivered and special booths have been set up, added Vijayan.As per the government, those who arrive at the airports should directly go to their homes and visiting other places, including relatives on the way, is not permitted. Those coming from abroad should strictly follow the quarantine norms. ...
The Quint
June 25, 2020
The Quint
Coronavirus, COVID-19 Live Updates: COVID-19: Biggest 1-Day Spikes in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra Today
June 25, 2020
The Times of India
India News: NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court directed the AAP government on Thursday to give an action plan on ramping up the COVID-19 testing, saying it was "impe.
Bernard J. Wolfson
June 25, 2020
Scientific American
Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives.
Press Trust of India
June 23, 2020
In a series of tweets, Shah also said that a 1,000-bed full-fledged hospital with 250 ICU beds is being developed for Covid-19 patients
Danielle Ramo
June 23, 2020
Scientific American Blog Network
More time online during the pandemic can expose them to abuse--but virtual spaces can also offer a crucial lifeline
Isabelle Kirkwood
June 22, 2020
After Bench decided to retool to help small businesses in the United States apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans, it had doubled its business.
Zee Media Bureau
June 22, 2020
Zee News
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday (June 22) convened a meeting with ministers and senior officials regarding containing COVID-19 in Bengaluru. He directed the officials to strictly implement lockdown measures to contain coronavirus in Bengaluru.
Dilip Kumar Jha
June 22, 2020
Increasing number of Covid cases and geopolitical tensions renew investors interest in risk-free assets
JD Alois
June 22, 2020
Crowdfund Insider
Click HERE to find out ⭐ Thousands Attend OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Conference, the First Global Virtual Event Focues on Pandemic Investment. | Crowdfund Insider: Global Fintech News, including Crowdfunding, Blockchain and more.
Tribune News Service
June 21, 2020
Tribuneindia News Service
Tribune News Service Chandigarh, June 21 The Haryana government has deployed final-year students of MBBS course studying in government and private medical colleges of the state in the districts for
Kevin Cummings
June 18, 2020
Merrilee NTX Inno kicked off the first virtual event in our State of Innovation series - Crisis Innovators: Pivots in the Age of Covid-19 - on Wednesday. Entrepreneurs, innovators and community members from across the Metroplex tuned in to a panel discussion with Andy Chen, senior VP of +1 Labs inside of Match Group and the product and development lead at Ship, and Merrilee Kick, CEO of BuzzBallz, on how they have been making changes and leading their teams through the current crisis. Pro tip: If you missed out on the live event, you can check out the recording here. NTX Inno's Crisis Innovators: Pivots in the Age of Covid-19 Through the pandemic, Match Group has been rolling out new features and testing new models on its numerous dating apps to help keep people connected, yet socially distant, as lockdown orders across the country have kept many at home. On the other side of North Texas, BuzzBallz quickly retooled its production of ready-to-go cocktails to begin producing about 18
June 18, 2020
The Indian Express
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tracker, India Lockdown News Live Updates: With 12,881 fresh cases, the coronavirus tally in India rose to 366,946 this morning, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi ruled out the possibility of another round of lockdown.
Sabine Hossenfelder
June 18, 2020
Scientific American
Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives.
June 18, 2020
The Times of India
A common low-cost steroid drug, Dexamethasone came as the most promising developments recently, even as over a 110 groups work to find a vaccine
June 16, 2020
In the early days of the pandemic, patients and doctors were uncertain about how they would proceed with research -- but no one ever doubted that they would.


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