Research Insights About Covid-19

We attempt to provide selected highlights in recent research findings

Last Update on 11 May 2020

A. Medicine and Health 

June 2020 (American Journal of Infection Control)

A qualitative study on the psychological experience of caregivers of COVID-19 patients

Niuniu Sun, Luoqun Wei, Suling Shi et al.

In this qualitative study, the authors explore the psychology of nurses caring for COVID-19 patients. They enrolled 20 nurses who provided care for COVID-19 patients using a phenomenological approach. They found that nurses showed interweaving positive and negative emotions during outbreak of COVID-19, with negative emotions being dominant in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. They emphasised that coping styles and psychological growth are important for maintaining mental health.

June 2020 (Journal of Nursing Research)

Nursing Perspectives on the Impacts of COVID-19

CHEN, Shu-Ching, LAI, Yeur-Hur, TSAY, Shiow-Luan

Nurses are the frontline healthcare professionals who work across acute care hospitals, long-term care agencies, nursing homes, schools, community, and government healthcare agencies. The multiple roles and functions played by nurses are particularly important during this COVID-19 pandemic and the authors highlight the nurses contribution across 5 main domains. They also discuss the key challenges faced by nursing professionals during this pandemic. 

May 29, 2020 (JAMA Neurology)

Neuropathogenesis and Neurologic Manifestations of the Coronaviruses in the Age of Coronavirus Disease 2019: A Review

Adeel S. Zubair, Lindsay S. McAlpine, Tova Gardin et al.

This narrative review identifies potential tissue targets and routes of entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 into the central nervous system and reported neurological complications of coronavirus disease 2019.


May 29, 2020 (Science)

The Search for a COVID-19 Animal Model

Seema S. Lakdawala, Vineet D. Menachery

Translating data from a single animal model to the varied disease outcomes in humans is not only challenging, but potentially misleading. Studies examining the efficacy of vaccines and antiviral drugs traditionally use models of severe disease, which may not mimic the common pathology in the majority of COVID-19 patients and could limit understanding of other important questions, including infection dynamics and transmission. Here, the authors compare currently available animal models for SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 in search for the best animal model to study COVID-19.


May 28, 2020 (Experimental Biology and Medicine)

The amount of cytokine-release defines different shades of Sars-Cov2 infection

S Bindolli, M Felicetti, P Sfriso et al.

This minireview contributes to providing a point of view regarding the immunological mechanisms beyond COVID-19 infection. Base on current evidence, the authors suggest to classify patients into three main clinical phenotypes according to the amount and pattern of cytokines released during the infection. By evaluating the degree of immunological activation provoked by SARS-CoV2, this article contributes in understanding better how to choose the correct clinical approach with immuno-modulatory therapies which, in turn, may help in curbing the hyper-inflammatory condition of patients affected.


May 27, 2020 (Science)

Reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2

Kimberly A. Prather, Chia C Wang, Robert T. Schooley

The authors discuss the role of aerosol spread of the SARS-CoV2 virus and emphasise the need for masks to combat asymptomatic spread in aerosols and droplets.


May 27, 2020 (JAMA Internal Medicine)

Opening Hospitals to More Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic—Making It Safe and Making It Feel Safe

David A. Asch

This essay details the importance in the COVID-19 era of making the changes needed to ensure that hospitals are safe for all patients who want to use them and, as importantly, to ensure that the patients feel that they are safe.


May 27, 2020 (JAMA)

Comparison of Clinical Characteristics of Patients with Asymptomatic vs Symptomatic Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Wuhan, China

Rongrong Yang, Xien Gui, Yong Xiong

This case series examines clinical characteristics of patients with asymptomatic vs symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 in Wuhan, China.


May 27, 2020 (JAMA Psychiatry)

Psychiatry in Times of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic: An Imperative for Psychiatrists to Act Now

Luykx JJ, Vinkers CH, Tijdink JK.

This Viewpoint discusses how psychiatrists can contribute to diminish the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.


May 27, 2020 (NEJM)

Remdesivir for 5 or 10 Days in Patients with Severe Covid-19

Jason D. Goldman, David C.B. Lye,David S. Hui, Kristen M. Marks et al.

The authors conducted a randomized, open-label, phase 3 trial involving hospitalized patients with confirmed severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. 397 patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive intravenous remdesivir for either 5 days or 10 days. All patients received 200 mg of remdesivir on day 1 and 100 mg once daily on subsequent days. In patients with severe Covid-19 not requiring mechanical ventilation, the trial did not show a significant difference between a 5-day course and a 10-day course of remdesivir. With no placebo control, however, the magnitude of benefit cannot be determined. 


May 26, 2020 (United European Gastroenterology Journal)

Liver Injury in COVID-19: The Current Evidence

Saleh A Alqahtani, Jorn M Schattenberg

This review summarizes current evidence related to hepatobiliary complications in COVID-19, provides an overview of the available case series and critically elucidates the proposed mechanisms and provides recommendations for clinicians.


May 26, 2020 (Otolaryngology– Head and Neck Surgery)

Inappropriate Nasopharyngeal Sampling for SARS-CoV-2 Detection Is a Relevant Cause of False-Negative Reports

Antonio Piras, Davide Rizzo, Sergio Uzzau et al.

The authors describe 4 symptomatic patients with negative RT-PCR results at the first nasopharyngeal swab, which became positive when collected a few hours later by an otolaryngologist, suggesting that inadequate nasopharyngeal sampling performed by untrained operators in the presence of nasal obstruction can be a relevant case of false-negative findings at RT-PCR, with a clear negative impact on the efforts to contain the current outbreak.


May 22, 2020 (JAMA)

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Test Results After Clinical Recovery and Hospital Discharge Among Patients in China

Jinru Wu, Xinyi Liu, Jianjun Liu, Han Liao, Sixuan Long, Ning Zhou, Pa Wu

This cross-sectional study used reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction tests to assess potential viral shedding among patients who previously had been diagnosed with and had clinically recovered from coronavirus disease 2019.

May 22, 2020 (JAMA)

Nursing Home Care in Crisis in the Wake of COVID-19

David C. Grabowski, Vincent Mor

This Viewpoint discusses the long-standing deficiencies in nursing home financing and organization made worse by the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and proposes ways to improve testing and personal protective equipment availability, and payment reforms to incentivize quality care for residents and decrease emergency department and hospital use.


May 22, 2020 (Science)

Projecting the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 through the postpandemic period

Stephen M. Kissler, Christine Tedijanto, Edward Goldstein, Yonatan H. Grad, Marc Lipsitch

Kissler et al. used existing data to build a deterministic model of multiyear interactions between existing coronaviruses, with a focus on the United States, and used this to project the potential epidemic dynamics and pressures on critical care capacity over the next 5 years. The long-term dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 strongly depends on immune responses and immune cross-reactions between the coronaviruses, as well as the timing of introduction of the new virus into a population. One scenario is that a resurgence in SARS-CoV-2 could occur as far into the future as 2025.


May 22, 2020 (The Lancet)

Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis

Prof Mandeep R Mehra, Sapan S Desai, Prof Frank Ruschitzka, Amit N Patel

The authors performed a multinational registry analysis of the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19. The registry comprised data from 671 hospitals in six continents. They were unable to confirm a benefit of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, when used alone or with a macrolide, on in-hospital outcomes for COVID-19. Each of these drug regimens was associated with decreased in-hospital survival and an increased frequency of ventricular arrhythmias when used for treatment of COVID-19.


May 22, 2020 (Clinical Infectious Diseases)

Predicting infectious SARS-CoV-2 from diagnostic samples 

Jared Bullard, Kerry Dust, Duane Funk, James E Strong, David Alexander et al.

An RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV2 detects RNA but not infectious virus, thus its ability to determine duration of infectivity of patients is limited. Infectivity is a critical determinant in informing public health guidelines/interventions. Here, the authors perform a retrospective cross-sectional study and took SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR confirmed positive samples and determined their ability to infect Vero cell lines. They found that cell infectivity was only observed for samples with PCR Cycle time < 24 and from patients with < 8 days from symptom onset.


May 21, 2020 (JAMA)

Postmortem Examination of Patients With COVID-19

Tina Schaller, Klaus Hirschbühl, Katrin Burkhardt, Georg Braun, Martin Trepel, Bruno Märkl, Rainer Claus

This case series describes autopsy findings in 10 patients with proven severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection who died at a university medical center in Germany. They found that acute and organizing diffuse alveolar damage and SARS-CoV-2 persistence in the respiratory tract were the predominant histopathologic findings and constituted the leading cause of death in patients with and without invasive ventilation.

May 21, 2020 (Int J of Social Psychiatry)

Impact of Social Distancing on Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Urgent Discussion

Matias Carvalho Aguiar Melo, Douglas de Sousa Soares

In this letter to the editor, the authors discuss the psychological impact of social distancing and emphasise the urgent need to conduct more researches to clarify the effect of social distancing in short- and long-term mental health.


May 20, 2020 (Nature Communications)

Immunogenicity of a DNA vaccine candidate for COVID-19

Smith, T.R.F., Patel, A., Ramos, S. et al.

In this paper, the authors discuss their findings after generating a synthetic DNA-based vaccine candidate targeting SARS-CoV-2 S protein. The engineered construct, INO-4800, results in robust expression of the S protein in vitro. Following immunization of mice and guinea pigs with INO-4800, they measured antigen-specific T cell responses, functional antibodies which neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 infection and block Spike protein binding to the ACE2 receptor, and biodistribution of SARS-CoV-2 targeting antibodies to the lungs. This preliminary dataset identifies INO-4800 as a potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate, supporting further translational study.


May 20, 2020 (Science)

DNA vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques

Jingyou Yu, Lisa H. Tostanoski, Lauren Peter et al.

The authors developed a series of DNA vaccine candidates expressing different forms of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein and evaluated them in 35 rhesus macaques.  They found that vaccinated animals developed humoral and cellular immune responses, including neutralizing antibody titers comparable to those found in convalescent humans and macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2. Following vaccination, all animals were challenged with SARS-CoV-2, and the authors found reductions in median viral loads in bronchoalveolar lavage and nasal mucosa samples from these macaques, as compared with sham controls. Vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibody titers correlated with protective efficacy, suggesting an immune correlate of protection. These data demonstrate vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 in nonhuman primates.


May 20, 2020 (NEJM)

Pandemic as Teacher — Forcing Clinicians to Inhabit the Experience of Serious Illness

Jane deLima Thomas
The author shares her experience and challenges as a palliative care physician in preparing for the COVID-19 pandemic.


May 20, 2020 (JAMA)

Nasal Gene Expression of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 in Children and Adults

Supinda Bunyavanich, Anh Do, Alfin Vicencio

The authors conducted a retrospective examination of nasal epithelium collected from individuals aged 4 to 60 years encountered within the Mount Sinai Health System, New York, during 2015-2018. They investigated ACE2 gene expression in the nasal epithelium of these children and adult samples and found that there is age-dependent expression of ACE2 in nasal epithelium, possibly explaining why COVID-19 is less prevalent in children.


May 20, 2020 (JAMA)

Olfactory Dysfunction in COVID-19: Diagnosis and management

Katherine Lisa Whitcroft, Thomas Hummel

This JAMA Insights Clinical Update discusses the presumed mechanism of COVID-19–related olfactory dysfunction and proposes assessment and management strategies, including olfactory training and adjuvant medication treatments.


May 20, 2020 (JAMA)

Assessment of Proficiency of N95 Mask Donning Among the General Public in Singapore

Wesley Yeung, Kennedy Ng, J. M. Nigel Fong, Judy Sng, Bee Choo Tai, Sin Eng Chia

The authors conducted a cross-sectional study to evaluate the proficiency of members of the Singapore public in wearing N95 masks. Participants were provided with the same model of masks and an instruction sheet. Interviewers administered a visual mask fit (VMF) test and a user seal check following the manufacturer’s instructions. They found that there was a low N95 VMF pass rate amongst participants.


May 20, 2020 (JAMA)

How Academic Health Systems Can Move Forward Once COVID-19 Wanes

Steven D. Shapiro, Paul B. Rothman

This Viewpoint discusses the role academic health systems can play in response to public health deficiencies identified in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, including developing early warning systems to identify future outbreaks, addressing community mental health needs more broadly, and working to reduce structural health inequities.


May 19, 2020 (NEJM)

The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Incidence of Acute Myocardial Infarction

Matthew D. Solomon, Edward J. McNulty, Jamal S. Rana et al.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, reports have suggested a decrease in the number of patients presenting to hospitals because of emergency conditions such as acute myocardial infarction. The authors examined this issue using data from a large integrated health care delivery system with 21 medical centers and 255 clinics that provides comprehensive care for more than 4.4 million persons throughout Northern California. They found that the incidence of hospitalization for acute myocardial infarction declined after March 4, 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, more than would be expected on the basis of typical seasonal variation alone. 


May 18, 2020 (Medscape)

A Quick Summary of the COVID-19 Literature So Far

Eric A. Meyerowitz, Aaron G. Richterman

In this update, the authors summarise key takeaways regarding COVID-19 covering April 23 to May 5, during which more than 3000 COVID- related papers were published on PubMed and another 766 were released in preprint form. In succinct tables, they summarise the major RCTs on COVID-19 therapeutics and discuss additional therapeutic data from press releases. They also summarise key transmission findings and discuss important learning points on COVID-19.


May 18, 2020 (Science Advances)

Evidence for host-dependent RNA editing in the transcriptome of SARS-CoV-2

Salvatore Di Giorgio, Filippo Martignano, Maria Gabriella Torcia, Giorgio Mattiuz, Silvestro G. Conticello

The authors analyze RNA sequences from bronchoalveolar lavage fluids derived from COVID-19 infected patients. They identify nucleotide changes that may be signatures of RNA editing: Adenosine-to-Inosine changes from ADAR deaminases and Cytosine-to-Uracil changes from APOBEC ones. Their results suggest that both APOBECs and ADARs are involved in Coronavirus genome editing, a process that may shape the fate of both virus and patient.


May 18, 2020 (Nature)

Cross-neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 by a human monoclonal SARS-CoV antibody

Pinto, D., Park, Y., Beltramello, M. et al.

Vaccine and therapeutic discovery efforts are paramount to curb the pandemic spread of this SARS-CoV2 virus. The SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein promotes entry into host cells and is the main target of neutralizing antibodies. Here the authors describe multiple monoclonal antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 S identified from memory B cells of an individual who was infected with SARS-CoV in 2003. They explain the potential of using S309- and S309-containing antibody cocktails for prophylaxis in individuals at high risk of exposure or as a post-exposure therapy to limit or treat severe disease.


May 15, 2020 (MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep)

High SARS-CoV-2 Attack Rate Following Exposure at a Choir Practice — Skagit County, Washington, March 2020

Hamner L, Dubbel P, Capron I, et al.

Superspreading events involving SARS-CoV2 have been reported. The authors describe a cluster of infections and their outcomes which occurred after choir practice attended by 61 persons. Citing this event, they emphasise on the importance of physical distancing, including avoiding gathering in large groups, to control spread of COVID-19. Additionally, enhancing community awareness can encourage symptomatic persons and contacts of ill persons to isolate or self-quarantine to prevent ongoing transmission.

May 15, 2020 (JAMA)

Respiratory Parameters in Patients With COVID-19 After Using Noninvasive Ventilation in the Prone Position Outside the Intensive Care Unit

Chiara Sartini, Moreno Tresoldi, Paolo Scarpellini, Andrea Tettamanti, Francesco Carcò, Giovanni Landoni, Alberto Zangrillo

This study, conducted in a single centre in Italy, measured respiratory parameters of 15 non-ICU patients before, during, and after receiving noninvasive ventilation in the prone position and found that it was feasible to do so.


May 14, 2020 (Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine)

The coronavirus pandemic: can we handle such epidemics better?

Peter C Gøtzsche

In this commentary, the author summaries various SARS-CoV2 related publications in the form of a question and answer format and provides a thorough insight on what has happened so far, and where we may be heading.

May 13, 2020 (JAMA)

SARS-CoV-2 Rates in BCG Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Young Adults

Uri Hamiel, Eran Kozer, Ilan Youngster

In this study, the authors collected data on COVID-19 patients from Israel’s National Central Bureau of Statistics. They compared infection rates and proportions with severe COVID-19 disease in 2 similar populations with differing BCG status: individuals born during the 3 years before and 3 years after cessation of the universal BCG vaccine program. They found that BCG vaccination in childhood does not have a protective effect against COVID-19 in adulthood.


May 13, 2020 (Science)

Estimating the burden of SARS-CoV-2 in France

Henrik Salje, Cécile Tran Kiem, Noémie Lefrancq, Noémie Courtejoie, Paolo Bosetti et al.

Despite more than 27,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in France, only about 4.4% of people have been infected. The percentage is still far below the required level of above 50%


May 13, 2020 (JAMA Cardiology)

A Game Plan for the Resumption of Sport and Exercise After Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Infection

Dermot Phelan, Jonathan H. Kim, Eugene H. Chung

Significant cardiac morbidity has been observed among hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Evidenced-based recommendations for return-to-play guidelines are currently limited. Here, the authors provide recommendations that are exclusive to cardiovascular considerations and illustrate with an algorithm.


May 13, 2020 (JAMA Pediatrics)

School Closure During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic

An Effective Intervention at the Global Level?

Susanna Esposito, Nicola Principi

This Viewpoint discusses the effectiveness of school closure as a preventive measure during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.


May 13, 2020 (JAMA)

Global Effort to Collect Data on Ventilated Patients With COVID-19

Rita Rubin

This Medical News feature describes an international effort to compile data about ventilated patients with COVID-19.

May 12, 2020 (Prehospital and Disaster Medicine)

Hospital Emergency Management of Emerging Infectious Disease using Instant Communication Technology

Lin, C., Hsieh, C., & Chi, C.

In this letter to the editor, the authors share three considerations related to using innovative applications to manage the threat of emerging infectious disease.

May 12, 2020 (European Radiology)

Comparison of chest CT findings between COVID-19 pneumonia and other types of viral pneumonia: a two-center retrospective study

Xiao Li, Xu Fang, Yun Bian, Jianping Lu\

In this retrospective review, High-resolution CT (HRCT) of the chest was performed on 154 patients with RT-PCR-confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia and compared with 100 patients with other types of viral pneumonia from two hospitals. The authors found that a peripheral distribution, a lesion range > 10 cm, involvement of 5 lobes, presence of hilar and mediastinal lymph node enlargement, and no pleural effusion were significantly associated with COVID-19.


May 12, 2020 (JAMA)

Management of Critically Ill Adults With COVID-19

Jason T. Poston, Bhakti K. Patel, Andrew M. Davis

This JAMA Clinical Guidelines Synopsis summarizes the 2020 Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines on the treatment of critically ill adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


May 12, 2020 (The Lancet)

Retinal findings in patients with COVID-19

Paula M Marinho, Allexya A A Marcos, Andre C Romano, Heloisa Nascimento, Rubens Belfort Jr

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive imaging technique that is useful for demonstrating subclinical retinal changes in systemic conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease, as well as many viral infections. The authors used OCT to evaluate 12 adult patients infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and describe their findings.


May 12, 2020 (JAMA Internal Medicine)

Development and Validation of a Clinical Risk Score to Predict the Occurrence of Critical Illness in Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19

Wenhua Liang, Hengrui Liang, Limin Ou, Binfeng Chen, Ailan Chen, Caichen Li, Yimin Li, Weijie Guan, Ling Sang, Jiatao Lu, Yuanda Xu, Guoqiang Chen, Haiyan Guo, Jun Guo, Zisheng Chen, Yi Zhao, Shiyue Li, Nuofu Zhang, Nanshan Zhong, Jianxing He for the China Medical Treatment Expert Group for COVID-19

This cohort study examines the characteristics of patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 will need admission to an intensive care unit, mechanical ventilation, or will die, and develops a COVID-19 risk score to predict outcomes.


May 12, 2020 (The Lancet)

Early estimates of the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal and child mortality in low-income and middle-income countries: a modelling study

Timothy Roberton, Emily D Carter, Victoria B Chou, Angela R Stegmuller, Bianca D Jackson, Yvonne Tam et al.

In this study, the authors estimate the additional maternal and under-5 child deaths resulting from the potential disruption of health systems and decreased access to food due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They modelled three different scenarios and used the Lives Saved Tool to estimate the additional maternal and under-5 child deaths under each scenario, in low and middle-income countries.


May 11, 2020 (Gastroenterology)

AGA Institute Rapid Review of the GI and Liver Manifestations of COVID-19, Meta-Analysis of International Data, and Recommendations for the Consultative Management of Patients with COVID-19

Shahnaz Sultan, Osama Altayar, Shazia M.Siddique, Perica Davitkov, Joseph D. Feuerstein, Joseph K. Lim, Yngve Falck-Ytter, Hashem B. El-Serag on behalf of the AGA

Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and lab abnormalities are described in patients with COVID-19 infection. To estimate the prevalence of these manifestations in patients with COVID-19, the AGA conducted a systematic review of published and unpublished studies, performed a meta-analysis, and provides clinical practice recommendations.

May 11, 2020 (Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology)

Maintaining stockpiles of mask in the COVID-19 pandemic: Taiwan as a learning model

Chiang, C., Chiang, C., & Chiang, C.

In this letter, the authors discuss how Taiwan ensured adequate stockpiles of masks for both healthcare workers and the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic.


May 11, 2020 (JAMA Psychiatry)

Opportunities From the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic for Transforming Psychiatric Care With Telehealth

John Torous, Til Wykes

This Viewpoint describes the ways in which mental health care might change as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.


May 11, 2020 (The Lancet Haematology)

Coagulation abnormalities and thrombosis in patients with COVID-19

Marcel Levi, Jecko Thachill, Toshiaki Iba, Jerrold H Levy

Many patients with severe COVID-19 present with coagulation abnormalities that mimic other systemic coagulopathies associated with severe infections, such as disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) or thrombotic microangiopathy, but COVID-19 has distinct features. In this Comment, the authors summarise the characteristics of COVID-19 coagulopathy, coagulation laboratory findings in affected patients, the prohaemostatic state and incidence of thromboembolic events, and potential therapeutic interventions.


May 11, 2020 (JAMA)

COVID-19 and Postinfection Immunity: Limited Evidence, Many Remaining Questions

Robert D. Kirkcaldy, Brian A. King, John T. Brooks

This Viewpoint describes what is currently known about the immune response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), highlights important gaps in knowledge, and identifies opportunities for future research.


May 10, 2020 (J of Geriatric Oncology)

Caring for older patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic: A Young International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) global perspective

Isacco Desideri, SophiePilleron, Nicolò Matteo, Luca Battisti, Fabio Gomes et al.

Older adults with cancer are an especially high-risk population to develop severe COVID-19. Here, the authors provide a global overview of the perspectives of geriatric oncology providers from countries across Europe, America, and Asia, regarding the adaptive strategies utilized to continue providing high quality care for older patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 10, 2020 (Med)

Validation of predictors of disease severity and outcomes in COVID-19 patients: a descriptive and retrospective study

Li Tan, Xia Kang, Xinran Ji, Gaoming Li, Qi Wang

The severity and outcome of COVID-19 cases has been associated with percentage of circulating lymphocytes, levels of C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, procalcitonin, lactic acid and viral load. However, the predictive power of each of these indicators in disease classification and prognosis remains largely unclear. The authors retrospectively collected information on the above parameters in 142 patients with COVID-19, stratifying them by survival or disease severity. They found that lymphocyte count is the most effective indicator of disease severity and prognosis.

May 9, 2020 (J of Diabetes Science and Technology)

Glycemic Characteristics and Clinical Outcomes of COVID-19 Patients Hospitalized in the United States

Bruce Bode, Valerie Garrett, Jordan Messler

Diabetes has emerged as an important risk factor for severe illness and death from COVID-19. This retrospective observational study of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 adults evaluated glycemic and clinical outcomes in patients with and without diabetes and/or acutely uncontrolled hyperglycemia. The results show that COVID-19 patients with diabetes and/or uncontrolled hyperglycemia had a longer length of stay and markedly higher mortality than patients without diabetes or uncontrolled hyperglycemia.


May 8, 2020 (Science)

Rapid COVID-19 vaccine development

Barney S. Graham

The author discusses the need for rapid COVID-19 vaccine development and emphasises that the fastest pathway to vaccine availability includes the avoidance of safety pitfalls.


May 8, 2020 (J. Zhejiang Univ. Sci. B)

An Overview of COVID-19

Shi, Y., Wang, G., Cai, X. et al.

This review summarizes the latest research findings and provides expert consensus with regards to SARS-CoV2. The authors share ongoing efforts and the Chinese experience, in order to provide insight on how to contain the epidemic and to improve our understanding of this emerging infectious disease, together with updated guidance for prevention, control, and critical management of this pandemic.


May 7, 2020 (NEJM)

A Trial of Lopinavir–Ritonavir in Adults Hospitalized with Severe Covid-19

Bin Cao, Yeming Wang, Danning Wen et al.

The authors conducted a randomized, controlled, open-label trial involving hospitalized adult patients with confirmed severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. 199 patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either lopinavir–ritonavir (400 mg and 100 mg, respectively) twice a day for 14 days, in addition to standard care, or standard care alone. The authors found that in hospitalized adult patients with severe Covid-19, no benefit was observed with lopinavir–ritonavir treatment beyond standard care.


May 7, 2020 (Gastroenterology)

How To Maximize Trainee Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspectives from Around the World

Rajesh N.Keswani, AmritaSethi, Alessandro Repici, Helmut Messman, Philip ChiuM

In this article, the authors present an assessment of the impact of COVID-19 upon GI trainees, highlight strategies to mitigate its impact on education and well-being, and ultimately return trainees to a “new normal” endoscopic and clinical practice. I


May 7, 2020 (NEJM)

Observational Study of Hydroxychloroquine in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19

Joshua Geleris, Yifei Sun, Jonathan Platt, Jason Zucker, Matthew Baldwin, George Hripcsak, Angelena Labella, Daniel Manson et al.

Hydroxychloroquine has been widely administered to patients with COVID-19 despite the lack of robust evidence supporting its use. The authors examined the association between hydroxychloroquine use and intubation or death at a large medical center in New York City. They found that hydroxychloroquine administration was not associated with either a greatly lowered or an increased risk of the composite end point of intubation or death.


May 7, 2020 (JAMA)

Clinical Characteristics and Results of Semen Tests Among Men With Coronavirus Disease 2019

Diangeng Li, Meiling Jin, Pengtao Bao, et al

This cohort study analysed the semen of 38 COVID-19 patients in a single centre in Shangqiu. They found  that SARS-CoV-2 can be present in the semen of patients with COVID-19, however is infectivity remains unknown.


May 6, 2020 (JAMA)

Interpreting Diagnostic Tests for SARS-CoV-2

Nandini Sethuraman, Sundararaj Stanleyraj Jeremiah, Akihide Ryo

This Viewpoint discusses the 2 most common categories of testing to diagnose SARS-CoV-2—real-time PCR to identify viral RNA and serological diagnosis of IgG and IgM antibodies to assess immune response—and estimates time intervals for test positivity by specimen source to help clinicians interpret results relative to symptom onset.

May 5, 2020 (BMJ)

Occurrence, prevention, and management of the psychological effects of emerging virus outbreaks on healthcare workers: rapid review and meta-analysis

Kisely Steve, Warren Nicola, McMahon Laura, Dalais Christine, Henry Irene, Siskind Dan et al.

The authors performed a rapid review and meta-analysis on 59 papers to examine the psychological effects on clinicians of working to manage novel viral outbreaks, and successful measures to manage stress and psychological distress. They found that effective interventions are available to help mitigate the psychological distress experienced by staff caring for patients in an emerging disease outbreak. 


May 4, 2020 (Med)

Efficacy and safety of lopinavir/ritonavir or arbidol in adult patients with mild/moderate

Li, Y., Xie, Z., Lin, W., Cai, W., Wen, C., Guan, Y., Mo, X., Wang, J. et al.

The authors conducted an exploratory randomized (2:2:1) controlled trial assessing the efficacy and safety of lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) or arbidol monotherapy for treating patients with mild/moderate COVID-19. They found that neither treatment shows significant

advantage over supportive care.


May 4, 2020 (European Radiology)

Interpretation of CT signs of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pneumonia

Jing Wu, Junping Pan, Da Teng, Xunhua Xu, Jianghua Feng, Yu-Chen Chen

The authors reviewed CT images of 130 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 pneumonia from several hospitals in China and found that ground glass opacities and consolidation are the most common CT signs of COVID-19 pneumonia mainly with lobular distribution and subpleural distribution. They also describe accompanying signs and the late stage changes on CT scan.


May 4, 2020 (Nature)

Effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions to contain COVID-19 in China

Lai, S., Ruktanonchai, N.W., Zhou, L. et al.

Using epidemiological and anonymised human movement data, the authors develop a modelling framework that uses daily travel networks to simulate different outbreak and intervention scenarios across China. The early detection and isolation of cases was estimated to have prevented more infections than travel restrictions and contact reductions, but combined non-pharmaceutical interventions achieved the strongest and most rapid effect.


May 3, 2020 (Mayo Clinic Proceedings)

Contact Tracing to Manage COVID19 Spread – Balancing Personal Privacy and Public Health

Suraj Kapa, John Halamka, Ramesh Raskar

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the use of digital solutions to aid with contact tracing to mitigate disease spread. However, there is a need to balance interests of privacy with public health. Here the authors discuss the appropriate contact tracing solutions and are of the opinion that it is feasible to manage privacy and public good by innovating appropriate solutions for how data is aggregated and users are informed of exposures.

May 3, 2020 (Int J Antimic Ag)

SARS-CoV-2 was already spreading in France in late December 2019

A.Deslandes, V.Berti, Y.Tandjaoui-Lambotte, Chakib Alloui, E.Carbonnelle, J.R.Zahar, S.Brichler, Yves Cohen

This case report describes a case of a patient hospitalised in December 2019 in an intensive care unit in Paris for haemoptysis with no aetiological diagnosis. RT-PCR was performed retrospectively on the stored respiratory sample and confirmed the diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. This indicates that SARS-CoV-2 was already spreading in France in late December 2019, 1 month before the first official cases in the country. This new case changes our understanding of the epidemic, and modelling studies should adjust to these new data.

May 1, 2020 (JAMA)

Contact Tracing Assessment of COVID-19 Transmission Dynamics in Taiwan and Risk at Different Exposure Periods Before and After Symptom Onset

Cheng H-Y et al.

To determine how soon after SARS-CoV-2 infection the risk for transmission declines, investigators studied 100 COVID-19 index patients in Taiwan and 2761 of their close contacts. They found that no secondary transmission was observed among close contacts whose exposure started 6 days or more after cases developed symptoms.

May, 2020 (Bull World Health Organ)

Taking pandemic preparation seriously

Amesh Adalja

In this Q&A, Dr Adalja answers questions pertaining pandemic preparedness and shares with us his view on what has been done to curb COVID-19, and what to expect ahead.

May, 2020 (Bull World Health Organ)

Simulation of the effects of COVID-19 testing rates on hospitalizations

Bernardo Sousa-Pinto, João Almeida Fonseca, Bruno Oliveira, Ricardo Cruz-Correia, Pedro Pereira Rodrigues, Altamiro Costa-Pereira & Francisco Nuno Rocha-Gonçalves

As large-scale testing for COVID-19 is being discussed, the issue of cost effectiveness arises. In this editorial piece, the authors share their work on the development of an online tool that allows users to simulate different scenarios to project how many hospitalisations could be prevented if more SARS-CoV2 tests were performed and what would be the underlying economic savings.


May, 2020 (Bull World Health Organ)

Medical certification of cause of death for COVID-19

Chalapati Rao

In this article, the author highlights the need for greater focus on disease outcomes, particularly for deaths, given the rising mortality burden. For COVID-19, the author  suggests the use of the detailed WHO form for medical certification of cause of death as well as listing all other conditions co-existent with COVID-19 infection at death, in order for detailed descriptive and analytical epidemiology to be carried out. This can be useful to guide priorities and resource allocation for critical care management, as well as enhance our understanding of epidemiological patterns and causal pathways to mortaltiy from COVID-19.

April 30, 3030 (Cell Research)

The ChinaMAP analytics of deep whole genome sequences in 10,588 individuals

Cao, Y., Li, L., Xu, M. et al.
The China Metabolic Analytics Project (ChinaMAP) is based on cohort studies across diverse regions and ethnic groups with metabolic phenotypic data in China. In this paper, the authors we describe the centralized analysis of the deep whole genome sequencing data and the genetic bases of metabolic traits in 10,588 individuals from the ChinaMAP. This study establishes a large-scale and deep resource for the genetics of East Asians and provides opportunities for novel genetic discoveries of metabolic characteristics and disorders.


April 30, 2020 (The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Preprint)

Assessing the Collateral Damage of the Novel Coronavirus: A Call to Action for the Post-COVID-19 Era

Vervoort D, Luc JGY, Percy E, Hirji S, Lee R

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many elective surgeries being cancelled around the world. This paper explores the contemporary issues impacting healthcare resources during the pandemic and makes recommendations for identifying an appropriate balance of their use to optimize patient care.

April 29, 2020 (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

Effective treatment of severe COVID-19 patients with tocilizumab

Xiaoling Xu, Mingfeng Han, Tiantian Li, Wei Sun, Dongsheng Wang, Binqing Fu, Yonggang Zhou, Xiaohu Zheng, Yun Yang, Xiuyong Li, Xiaohua Zhang, Aijun Pan, Haiming Wei

Chinese investigators conducted a retrospective, uncontrolled study of 21 patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms (as defined by prespecified criteria) who received treatment with the IL-6 blocker tocilizumab. Within 24 hours of starting tocilizumab therapy, fevers and elevated C-reactive protein levels resolved, and levels of IL-6 and other proinflammatory cytokines declined. Use of supplemental oxygen dropped in 15 patients, oxygen saturation levels stabilized or improved in all patients, the 2 ventilated patients were weaned, and all patients subsequently were discharged alive.

April 29, 2020 (Nature Medicine)

Responding to the hidden pandemic for healthcare workers: stress

Krystal, J.H., McNeil, R.L.

In the COVID-19 pandemic, frontline healthcare workers are having to work under particularly intense stress levels. The author shares how videoconferencing can be harnessed to provide mental-health support, and also addresses ‘tele-health’ fatigue.


April 29, 2020 (Science)

Changes in contact patterns shape the dynamics of the COVID-19 outbreak in China

Juanjuan Zhang, Maria Litvinova, Yuxia Liang, Yan Wang, Wei Wang, Shanlu Zhao, Qianhui Wu, Stefano Merler, Cécile Viboud, Alessandro Vespignani, Marco Ajelli, Hongjie Yu

As transmission intensifies, the interplay between age, contact patterns, social distancing, susceptibility to infection, and COVID-19 dynamics remains unclear. To answer these questions, the authors analyze contact surveys data for Wuhan and Shanghai before and during the outbreak and contact tracing information from Hunan Province. Based on their findings, the authors build a transmission model to study the impact of social distancing and school closure on transmission. They found that social distancing alone, as implemented in China during the outbreak, is sufficient to control COVID-19. While proactive school closures cannot interrupt transmission on their own, they can reduce peak incidence by 40-60% and delay the epidemic.


April 29, 2020 (The Lancet)

Remdesivir in adults with severe COVID-19: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi centre trial

Yeming Wang, Dingyu Zhang, Prof Guanhua Du, Prof Ronghui Du,

As the search continues for the effective treatment of COVID-19, the authors carried out a double-blinded, placebo-controlled RCT on Remdesivir, a nucleoside analogue prodrug that has inhibitory effects on SARS-CoV2 in vitro. They found that In this study of adult patients admitted to hospital for severe COVID-19, remdesivir was not associated with statistically significant clinical benefits.


April 28, 2020  (Emerg Infect Dis.)

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Social Distancing Interventions to Delay or Flatten the Epidemic Curve of Coronavirus Disease

Laura Matrajt and Tiffany Leung

The authors used a mathematical model to investigate the effectiveness of social distancing interventions carried out in different age groups, over 6 weeks in a mid-sized city. They found that interventions started earlier in the epidemic delay the epidemic curve and interventions started later flatten the epidemic curve. They also highlight that when interventions ended, the epidemic rebounded, suggesting that social distancing can provide crucial time to increase healthcare capacity but must occur in conjunction with testing and contact tracing of all suspected cases to mitigate virus transmission.


April 28, 2020 (Nature)

The race for coronavirus vaccines: a graphical guide

Ewen Callaway

Researchers are trialling different technologies to come up with a vaccine for SARS-CoV2. With the use of infographics, this easy to understand article explains COVID-19 vaccine designs and developments.


April 28, 2020 (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology)

Maternal Death Due to COVID-19 Disease

Hantoushzadeh S, Shamshirsaz AA, Aleyasin A, Seferovic MD, et al.

In this multi-centre case series in Iran, the authors describe the outcome of 9 pregnant women with laboratory confirmed severe COVID-19 disease during their late 2nd or 3rd trimester.


April 27, 2020 (Nature)

Aerodynamic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in two Wuhan hospitals

Liu, Y., Ning, Z., Chen, Y. et al.

This study investigated the aerodynamic nature of SARS-CoV-2 by measuring viral RNA in aerosols in different areas of two Wuhan hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak in February and March 2020. They found that some medical staff areas initially had high concentrations of viral RNA which were reduced to undetectable levels after implementation of rigorous sanitization procedures. The identification of the virus however does not reflect the infectivity of the virus detected. 


April 27, 2020 (The Lancet)

Epidemiology and transmission of COVID-19 in 391 cases and 1286 of their close contacts in Shenzhen, China: a retrospective cohort study

Qifang Bi, Yongsheng Wu, Shujiang Mei, Chenfei Ye, Xuan Zou, Zhen Zhang et al.

In this retrospective study, data analysis showed that isolation and contact tracing reduce the time during which cases are infectious in the community.  The overall impact of isolation and contact tracing, however, is uncertain and highly dependent on the number of asymptomatic cases.


April 27, 2020 (J of Arthroplasty)

Understanding Antibody Testing for COVID-19

David Jacofsky, Emilia M. Jacofsky, Marc Jacofsky

The authors explain the science behind antibody testing, the principle of antibody assays, and interpretation of point-of-care antibody tests.  

April 27, 2020 (ID Cases)

SARS-CoV-2 infection in a patient on chronic hydroxychloroquine therapy: Implications for prophylaxis

Khalid M. Dousa, Sharad S. Malavade, Jennifer Furin, Barbara Gripshover, Marjorie Hatszegi, Leila Hojat, Elie Saade, Robert A.Salata

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have been used as treatment for COVID-19 and are being considered as prophylaxis, especially for health care workers who are at high risk. In this case report of a patient who contracted COVID-19 despite being on Hydroxychloroquine, the authors question the role of these medications as preventive therapy.

April 26, 2020 (CellPress, Pre-proof)

Imbalanced host response to SARS-CoV-2 drives development of COVID-19

Daniel Blanco-Melo, Benjamin E. Nilsson-Payant, Wen-Chun Liu, Skyler Uhl, Daisy Hoagland, Rasmus Møller, Tristan X. Jordan, et al.

The transcriptional response to infection with SARS-CoV2 is investigated in vitro (cell lines and primary cells), in vivo (ferrets) and ex vivo (lung tissue from COVID19 patients) and compared to uninfected. They also compare SARS-CoV2 with other respiratory viruses including SARS-CoV1 and IAV. Overall, SARS-CoV2 fails to induce a robust type I/III interferon response even in cells permissive to viral replication, although a subset of ISGs is induced independently of IFN signalling. In contrast, SARS-CoV2 constantly induces the expression of high levels of inflammatory chemokines. Further, they detect similar imbalanced immune response in SARS-CoV-2 infected ferrets and the serum in a cohort of 24 SARS-CoV2+ patients.

April 26, 2020 (J of Clinical Virology)

A RT-PCR assay for the detection of coronaviruses from four genera

Leshan Xiu, Raquel A.Binder, Natalie A. Alarja, Kara Kochek et al.

The authors describe their work in the development of a diagnostic test that is able to detect all coronaviruses from the four main genera. The assay was highly specific and sensitive in detecting CoVs, and performed well on different sample types.


April 25, 2020 (Science of the Total Environment)

Follow-up studies in COVID-19 recovered patients - is it mandatory?

Vellingiri Balachandar, Iyer Mahalaxmi, Mohandevi Subramaniam et al.

The authors recommend a longitudinal study to assess the health status of COVID-19 recovered patients to evaluate any changes in the other organs in human systems. They provide an overview of the multi-system involvement from current data available and also share their recommendations for COVID-19 recovered patients.


April 24, 2020 (JAMA Pediatrics)

Mental health status among children in home confinement during the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak in Hubei Province, China

Xie X et al.

To examine children's psychological adjustment, researchers surveyed 1784 children in grades 2 to 6 living in Hubei province whose schools had been closed for over a month. Overall, 22.6% of students reported depression symptoms and 18.9% reported anxiety symptoms, both rates are higher than baseline rates reported for children in Asia.

April 24, 2020 (JAMA)
Effect of High vs Low Doses of Chloroquine Diphosphate as Adjunctive Therapy for Patients Hospitalized With Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Infection: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Mayla Gabriela Silva Borba, Fernando Fonseca Almeida Val, Vanderson Souza Sampaio et al.

There is yet to be a specific antiviral therapy recommended for the treatment of COVID-19. However, in-vitro studies have indicated that high doses of chloroquine diphosphate (CQ) has antiviral effects. In this double-blinded RCT, the authors evaluate the safety and efficacy of 2 different doses of CQ and their preliminary findings suggest that higher dosages of CQ should not be recommended for the treatment of severe COVID-19 because of safety concerns regarding QTc interval prolongation and increased lethality.


April 24, 2020 (NEJM)

Mild or moderate COVID-19

Rajesh T. Gandhi, John B. Lynch, and Carlos del Rio

Using a case vignette, the authors provide an excellent overview on COVID-19 covering disease transmission, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, evaluation, management options and infection prevention and control.


April 24, 2020 (Front. Microbiol.)

The Current and Future State of Vaccines, Antivirals and Gene Therapies Against Emerging Coronaviruses

Longping V. Tse, Rita M. Meganck, Rachel L. Graham, Ralph S. Baric

Vaccine development targeting coronaviruses is indeed challenging. In this review, the authors summarize the key advancements of current vaccines and antivirals against SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV as well as discuss the challenges and opportunities in the current SARS-CoV-2 crisis. They then advocate the development of a “plug-and-play” platform technologies that could allow quick manufacturing and administration of broad-spectrum countermeasures in an outbreak setting.


April 24, 2020 (JMIR Public Health Surveill.)

Regulation and Trust: 3-Month Follow-up Study on COVID-19 Mortality in 25 European Countries

Atte Oksanen, Markus Kaakinen, Rita Latikka, Iina Savolainen, Nina Savela, Aki Koivula

Although Europe has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are major country differences in both the spread of the virus and measures taken to stop the virus. In this study, the authors examined country variations of COVID-19 mortality in Europe by analyzing social risk factors explaining the spread of the disease, restrictions and control measures, and institutional trust.


April 23, 2020 (Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy)

COVID-19: an exploratory randomized controlled trial

Yuhao Zhang, Xiuchao Geng, Yanli Tan et al.

In this paper, the authors systematically review the pathogenic features, transmission routes, and infection mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2, as well as any adverse effects on the digestive system, urogenital system, central nervous system, and circulatory system, in order to provide a theoretical and clinical basis for the diagnosis, classification, treatment, and prognosis assessment of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


April 23, 2020 (JAMA)

Association of Renin-Angiotensin System Inhibitors With Severity or Risk of Death in Patients With Hypertension Hospitalized for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Infection in Wuhan, China

Juyi Li, Xiufang Wang, Jian Chen, et al

SARS-CoV2 uses the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) 2 receptor to gain entry into host cells. ACE-inhibitors (ACE-I) and Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are commonly used in the management of patients with hypertension. This case series seeks to answer the question on whether hypertensive patients on ACE-I or ARB treatment have greater illness severity or increased risk of mortality during hospitalization for COVID-19 infection.

April 23, 2020 (Laboratory Diagnositics)

A SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT) based on antibody-mediated blockage of ACE2-spike (RBD) protein-protein interaction

Chee Wah Tan, Wan Ni Chia, Mark I-C Chen et al.

At this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need for a robust, validated and accessible serological test to detect neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. Here, the authors report a validated SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT) that is designed to detect total neutralizing antibodies in an isotype- and species-independent manner. They report that their simple and rapid test is based on antibody-mediated blockage of virus-host interaction between the ACE2 receptor protein and the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike protein.

April 23, 2020 (NEJM)

Ten Weeks to Crush the Curve

Harvey V. Fineberg

In this editorial piece, Dr Fineberg illustrates six steps to mobilize and organize the nation with the aim of defeating COVID-19 by June 2020.


April 22, 2020 (J Clin Nurs.)

Covid-19: Supporting Nurses' Psychological and Mental Health

Jill Maben, Jackie Bridges

Nurses are truly the heart of the healthcare system. In the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses are on the front line of health and social care in the most extreme of circumstances. This article highlights the stressors and challenges nurses face during this time, and provide meures to support them during this difficult time.


April 22, 2020 (Brain Behave Immun.)

Current Status of Potential Therapeutic Candidates for the COVID-19 Crisis

Jiancheng Zhang, Bing Xie, Kenji Hashimoto

There are intensive research and clinical trials underway to assess the efficacy of existing drugs and identify potential therapeutic targets to develop new drugs for treating COVID-19. In this article, the authors summarize the current potential therapeutic approaches for diseases related to COVID-19 infection and introduce their mechanisms of action, safety, and effectiveness.

April 22, 2020 (Front. Med.)

Thanks to all medical workers fighting against COVID-19

Chen, X.

A citizen of Wuhan pens down heartfelt gratitude to all those involved in fighting COVID-19.

April 21, 2020 (The BMJ)

Viral load dynamics and disease severity in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Zhejiang province, China, January-March 2020: retrospective cohort study

Zheng Shufa, Fan Jian, Yu Fei, Feng Baihuan, Lou Bin, Zou Qianda et al.

In this retrospective study, the authors evaluated SARS-CoV2 viral loads from various samples at different stages of diseases progression in COVID-19 positive patients and found that the duration of SARS-CoV2 is significantly longer in stool samples than in respiratory and serum samples. They also conclude that the virus persists longer with higher load and peaks later in the respiratory tissues of patients with severe disease.


April 21, 2020 (The Lancet)

Connecting clusters of COVID-19: an epidemiological and serological investigation

Sarah Ee Fang Yong, Danielle Elizabeth Anderson, Wycliffe E Wei, Junxiong Pang, Wan Ni Chia, Chee Wah Tan

Identification of the source of COVID-19 infections and elucidating the chain of disease transmission are crucial for effective disease containment. The authors describe an epidemiological investigation carried out in Singapore that established links between three clusters of COVID-19, with the use of SARS-CoV-2 serological assays.

April 21, 2020 (The Lancet)

Ethnicity and COVID-19: an urgent public health research priority

Manish Pareek, Mansoor N Bangash, Nilesh Pareek, Daniel Pan, Shirley Sze, Jatinder S Minhas et al.

The authors noticed that early reports from China and Italy showed a striking difference in mortality indicating that ethnicity might affect disease outcome. They reviewed published papers and national surveillance reports on notifications and outcomes of COVID-19 to ascertain ethnicity data reporting patterns, associations, and outcomes. They found that none of the ten highest COVID-19 case-notifying countries reported data related to ethnicity.

April 20, 2020 (Cell, Preprint)

SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 is an interferon-stimulated gene in human airway epithelial cells and is detected in specific cell subsets across tissues
Ziegler, C.G.K., Allon, S.J., Nyquist, S.K., et al

In this paper, the authors investigate the cell subsets targeted by SARS-CoV-2 in host tissues, and the factors that regulate ACE2 expression. Based on human and animal single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) datasets across health and disease, they identified ACE2 and TMPRSS2 co-expressing cells within lung type II pneumocytes, ileal absorptive enterocytes, and nasal goblet secretory cells.  They discover that ACE2 is a human interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) in vitro using airway epithelial cells, and extend their findings to in vivo viral infections.

April 20, 2020 (Eur J of Radiology)

Radiology department strategies to protect Radiologic Technologists against COVID19: experience from Wuhan

Yanjie Zhao, Chunlin Xiang, Shaofang Wang, Chengdong Peng, Qian Zou, Junwu Hu

Computed Tomography (CT) of the chest has become an important investigative tool in COVID-19. As such, radiologic technologists who conduct this procedure for the infected patients are at a high risk of contracting the disease themselves. The authors share systematic strategies encompassing personnel arrangements, environmental modification, protection levels and configurations, radiological imaging (CT and radiography), and disinfection methods to combat COVID-19 in the radiology department.


April 20, 2020 (Eur J Clin Invest.)

COVID-19 Diagnosis Does Not Rule Out Other Concomitant Diseases

Alberto Borghetti, Arturo Ciccullo, Elena Visconti, Enrica Tamburrini, Simona Di Giambenedetto

Although in this pandemic phase, it must not be forgotten that the diagnosis of COVID-19 does not imply the exclusion of other concomitant diseases. In this letter, the authors share a case vignette highlighting the importance of evaluating patients as a whole, and the need for clinicians to maintain a high level of attention when evaluating patients with COVID-19.

April 17, 2020 (The Lancet)

Impact assessment of non-pharmaceutical interventions against coronavirus disease 2019 and influenza in Hong Kong: an observational study

Prof Benjamin J Cowling, Sheikh Taslim Ali, Tiffany W Y Ng, Tim K Tsan, Julian C M Li, Peng Wu… Prof Gabriel M Leung

The authors examined the effect of these interventions and behavioural changes of the public on the incidence of COVID-19. When Peng Wu at the University of Hong Kong and her colleagues surveyed residents in early March, 99% said they wore a mask in public and 85% said they avoided crowds.


April 17, 2020 (JAMA)

Educate, Amplify, and Focus to Address COVID-19 Misinformation

Valerie A. Earnshaw, Ingrid T. Katz

Technology has made information readily available to all. The downside to this is that there is a growing surge of misinformation which needs to be urgently addressed. The authors emphasize on the role of health care professionals in dispelling misinformation. 

April 17, 2020 (JAMA)

The Promise and Peril of Antibody Testing for COVID-19

Abbasi J.

There are recommendations for health-care providers to use serological tests to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 to help identify people who may have been exposed to the virus or have recovered from the COVID-19 infection. This article discusses how antibody tests should—and should not—be used during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.


April 17, 2020 (Stem Cells and Development, Preprint)

Stem Cell-Based Therapy for Coronavirus Diseases 2019

Rober Chunhua Zhao

Currently, there is still no specific effective antiviral treatment for COVID-19. It is also known that the immune response plays a vital part in the course of this disease. In this article, the author describes basic research and ongoing clinical trials on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and discusses it’s potential use as an effective treatment for patients with COVID-19.

April 17, 2020 (Asian Journal of Psychiatry)

Mental health problems faced by healthcare workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic–A review

Mamidipalli Sai Spoorthy, Sree,  Karthik Pratapa, Supriya Mahant

This review was done to conduct a systematic appraisal of studies on Mental health problems faced by healthcare workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The review showed that several socio-demographic variables like gender, profession, age, place of work, department of work were associated with increased stress, anxiety, depressive symptoms and insomnia in HCW.


April 16, 2020 (JAMA)

Finding Ways to Reduce Coronavirus Exposure During Dialysis

Rubin R.

This Medical News Feature examines what hemodialysis centers are doing to protect their high-risk patients from COVID-19.


April 16, 2020 (JAMA)

Meeting the Care Needs of Older Adults Isolated at Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Steinman MA, Perry L, Perissinotto CM.

The COVID19 pandemic has resulted in the need for social distancing and isolation. This can adversely affect the older adults. This viewpoint stresses the importance of recognising the challenges created by COVID-19 and addresses how clinicians can help reduce these potentially negative effects.


April 16, 2020 (Baylor University Medical Centre Proceedings)

SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and intravascular volume management strategies in the critically ill

Amir Kazory, Claudio Ronco & Peter A. McCullough

A subset of patients with COVID-19 develop a more severe form of the diseases characterized by expanding pulmonary lesions, sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and respiratory failure. Due to lack of data on treatment strategies specific to this group, current management of the critically ill is extrapolated and customized to their clinical needs. The article calls attention to fluid stewardship in the critically ill patients with COVID-19 by judiciously applying the evidence-based resuscitation principles to their specific clinical features such as high rates of cardiac injury. This strategy is likely to help reduce potential complications.


April 15, 2020 (J Med Virol.)

Possibly Critical Role of Wearing Masks in General Population in Controlling COVID-19

Guangshu Han, Yi-Hua Zhou

The authors summarise existing evidence on the spread of COVID-19 and the use of masks in prevention. They advocate the need for wearing masks in the general population to control COVID-19.

April 15, 2020 (Nature Medicine)

Temporal dynamics in viral shedding and transmissibility of COVID-19

He, X., Lau, E.H.Y., Wu, P. et al.

The authors report temporal patterns of viral shedding in 94 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and modeled COVID-19 infectiousness profiles from a separate sample of 77 infector–infectee transmission pairs. Their findings infer that infectiousness peaked on or before symptom onset.


April 14, 2020 (Viruses)

Molecular Investigation of SARS–CoV-2 Proteins and Their Interactions with Antiviral Drugs

Paolo Calligari, Sara Bobone, Giorgio Ricci, Alessio Bocedi

With the vast number of people affected by SARS-CoV2, and with no vaccination available, there is an urgent need to find effective treatment strategies. In this article, the Italians share with us their work on using the molecular docking approach to analyze the affinity between different viral proteins and several inhibitors, originally developed for other viral infections. Their data show that, in some cases, a relevant binding can be detected, supporting the hypothesis to develop new antiviral agents against COVID-19, on the basis of already established therapies.


April 14, 2020 (Science)

Projecting the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 through the postpandemic period

Stephen M. Kissler, Christine Tedijanto, Edward Goldstein, Yonatan H. Grad, Marc Lipsitch

Yonatan Grad, Marc Lipsitch and their colleagues at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, modelled the spread of coronaviruses in places that have temperate climates, such as the United States. The results helped the team to predict the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.



April 14, 2020 (MedRxiv, Preprint)

Hydroxychloroquine in patients with COVID-19: an open-label, randomized, controlled trial

Wei Tang, Zhujun Cao, Mingfeng Han, Qing Xie et al.

In this multicenter, open label, randomised control trial, the authors set out to assess the efficacy and safety of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) plus standard-of-care (SOC) compared with SOC alone in adult patients with COVID-19.



April 14, 2020 (Intensive and Critical Care Nursing)

End-of-life decisions and care in the midst of a global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Natalie Pattison

The author broaches a very important aspect of medicine in this article discussing end-of-life decisions and care, as well as bereavement support amidst the COVID-19 pandemic


April 14, 2020 (Science)

Projecting the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 through the postpandemic period

Stephen M. Kissler, Christine Tedijanto, Edward Goldstein, Yonatan H. Grad, Marc Lipsitch.

The authors highlight the urgent need to understand the future of severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission. In this article, they used estimates of seasonality, immunity, and cross-immunity for betacoronaviruses OC43 and HKU1 from time series data from the USA to inform a model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


April 13, 2020 (J of Medical Virology)

Coronavirus disease 2019: new things to know!

Souheil Zayet, Kadiane‐Oussou N'dri Juliette, Pierre‐Yves Royer, Lynda Toko, Vincent Gendrin, Timothee Klopfenstein

In this article, the authors report their findings from a retrospective study carried out in a single centre. They highlight clinical features that are not just confined to the respiratory tract.  


April 13, 2020 (JAMA) 

Pharmacologic Treatments for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) A Review

James M. Sanders, Marguerite L. Monogue, Tomasz Z. Jodlowski et al

In this review, the authors summarise an extensive literature review on pharmacologic treatments for COVID-19. They discuss all available pharmacological options at present, and share current clinical treatment experience and recommendations.



April 12, 2020 (Wiley Connections)

We urgently need guidelines for managing COVID‐19 in children with comorbidities

Devi Dayal

In this letter, Dr Dayal summarises current evidence available for the management of COVID-19 in children and identifies the gaps in research.


April 11, 2020 (The Lancet)

Regulators split on antimalarials for COVID-19

Susan Jaffe

The use of antimalarials such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19 has sparked much debate. In this article, the author discusses the various viewpoints of international regulators regarding this topic.


April 10, 2020 (J of Infection) MUST READ

Clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in China: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Leiwen Fu, Bingyi Wang, Tanwei Yuan, Xiaoting Chen, Yunlong Ao, Thomas Fitzpatrick et al.

The authors performed an extensive systematic review and meta-analysis to provide a comprehensive characterisation of COVID-19 to better inform efforts to treat and control the current outbreak. They reviewed studies from 4 different databases and reviewed for methodological quality prior to selecting 43 COVID-19 studies involving a total of 3600 patients from across the world. They performed extensive data analysis and also assessed heterogeneity between studies. They summarise the clinical signs, risk factors, laboratory and chest CT findings, complications, and treatments of COVID-19. The authors found that the majority of COVID-19 cases are symptomatic with a moderate case fatality rate (CFR). Additionally, patients living in Wuhan, older patients, and those with medical co-morbidities tend to have more severe clinical symptoms and higher CFR.

April 10, 2020 (JAMA)

Association of Public Health Interventions With the Epidemiology of the COVID-19 Outbreak in Wuhan, China

Pan A, Liu L, Wang C, et al.

In this cohort study, the authors evaluate the association of public health interventions with the epidemiological features of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan by 5 periods according to key events and interventions. They included 32 583 patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in Wuhan from December 8, 2019, through March 8, 2020. The interventions include cordons sanitaire, traffic restriction, social distancing, home quarantine, centralized quarantine, and universal symptom survey. The found that these interventions were temporally associated with reduced effective reproduction number of SARS-CoV-2 (secondary transmission) and the number of confirmed cases per day across age groups, sex, and geographic regions.

April 10, 2020 (Emerg Infect Dis., Early Release)

Aerosol and Surface Distribution of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 in Hospital Wards, Wuhan, China, 2020

Guo Z-D, Wang Z-Y, Zhang S-F, Li X, Li L, Li C, et al.

The main transmission routes for SARS-CoV-2 are respiratory droplets and close contact. It is important to know the extent of environmental contamination of SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 wards to improve safety practices for health care workers, and to also address public concerns regarding transmission. In this study, air and surface samples were taken from intensive care units and general wards of two hospitals treating COVID-19 patients in Wuhan.

April 10, 2020 (JAMA)

Neurologic Manifestations of Hospitalized Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Wuhan, China

Mao L, Jin H, Wang M, et al.

In this retrospective study, the authors take a look at neurological manifestations of patients with COVID-19. They also highlight the importance to consider the diagnosis of COVID-19 in patients with neurological manifestations.


April 10, 2020 (Journal of Infection 2020)

Rapid asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 during the incubation period demonstrating strong infectivity in a cluster of youngsters aged 16-23 years outside Wuhan and characteristics of young patients with COVID-19: a prospective contact-tracing study.

L. Huang, X. Zhang and X. Zhang et al.

This is a contact-tracing study of a Covid-19 patient in Feidong province, China, returning from Wuhan. His close contacts, during both pre-symptomatic and symptomatic periods, were traced and followed-up to determine any. The authors described the type, and significance of contacts, and identified amongst them those that went on to develop Covid-19 and vice-versa.



April 10, 2020. (CDC Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report)

Presymptomatic Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 — Singapore, January 23–March 16, 2020.

Wei WE, Li Z, Chiew CJ, Yong SE, Toh MP, Lee VJ

This is a CDC report with a summary of 8 separate clusters in Singapore, that demonstrated pre-symptomatic transmissions of Covid-19 cases. The reported transmissions ranged between 1-3 days before the source started developing symptoms. The cases were either from direct respiratory droplets or indirect transmission via environmental or fomite contamination.



April 10, 2020 (J of Autoimmunity) 

Can we use interleukin-6 (IL-6) blockade for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-induced cytokine release syndrome (CRS)?

Bingwen Liu, Min Li, Zhiguang Zhou, Xuan Guan, YuFei Xiang

Cytokine release syndrome has been implicated as the cause of severe illness in COVID-19. Here, the authors explain the pathogenesis of CRS not only in COVID-19, but also in SARS and MERS, comparing the three. They also summarize the existing therapies for CRS.  Additionally, they discuss the use of interleukin-6 (IL-6) blockade to manage COVID-19-induced CRS, including factors that should be taken into consideration for its clinical application.



April 9, 2020 (Nature)

Structure of Mpro from COVID-19 virus and discovery of its inhibitors

Jin, Z., Du, X., Xu, Y. et al.

Mpro is an important coronavirus enzyme, which plays a pivotal role in mediating viral replication and transcription, making it an attractive drug target for this virus. The authors describe the structure of Mpro and their mechanism of discovery of its inhibitors. This could lead to the rapid discovery of drug leads with clinical potential.

April 9, 2020 (Eur J Preventive Cardiology) 

Physical inactivity and cardiovascular disease at the time of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Giuseppe Lippi, Brandon M Henry, Fabian Sanchis-Gomar.

During quarantine, staying active and maintaining a physical exercise routine is  essential for mental and physical health. The authors encourage authorities to include clear exceptions for physical activity such as allowing for safe performance of outdoor physical activities (e.g. walking or running where an adequate interpersonal distance can be maintained), and thus prevent unfavourable cardiovascular diseases.


April 8, 2020 (BMC Med)

Optimising strategies to address mental ill-health in doctors and medical students: ‘Care Under Pressure’ realist review and implementation guidance

Carrieri, D., Mattick, K., Pearson, M. et al.

The authors suggest that successful and effective interventions to tackle doctors’ and students’ mental ill-health are likely to be multidimensional and multilevel and involve multiple stakeholders. The review indicates that evaluating and improving existing interventions is likely to be more effective than developing new ones.


April 8, 2020 (Nature Biomed Eng)

Humanity tested

This must-read editorial mentions that the world needs mass at-home serological testing for antibodies elicited by SARS-CoV-2, and rapid and frequent point-of-care testing for the presence of the virus’ RNA in selected populations.

April 8, 2020 (Clinical Microbiology and Infection)

Challenges and issues about organizing a hospital to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak: experience from a French reference centre

N. Peiffer-Smadja, J.-C. Lucet, G. Bendjelloul et al.

In order to provide data on the resilience of health systems during the COVID-19 pandemic, the authors describe, at the hospital level, the key elements of the response to COVID-19, including the challenges and issues to anticipate following the experience of their centre, one of the largest hospital system in Europe.


April 7, 2020 (MedRxiv, pre print)

Loss of smell and taste in combination with other symptoms is a strong predictor of COVID-19 infection

Cristina Menni, Ana Valdes, Maxim B Freydin, … Tim Spector

The authors perform a community survey to investigate the prevalence of loss of smell and taste among COVID-19 diagnosed individuals and to identify the combination of symptoms, besides loss of smell and taste, that most likely corresponds to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis in non-severe cases.

April 6, 2020 (PNAS)

Effectiveness of convalescent plasma therapy in severe COVID-19 patients

Kai Duan, Bende Liu, Cesheng Li, et al.

In this study, 10 severe patients confirmed by real-time viral RNA test were enrolled prospectively for convalescent plasma (CP) treatment. Their preliminary results indicate that CP can serve as a promising rescue option for severe COVID-19 patients.

April 4, 2020 (J of Hospital Infection)

Risk of nosocomial transmission of coronavirus disease 2019: an experience in a general ward setting in Hong Kong

Wong SC-Y, Kwong RT-S, Wu TC, Chan JWM, Chu MY, Lee SY, Wong HY, Lung DC

In this contact investigation revolving around one patient, the authors findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is not spread by an airborne route, and nosocomial transmissions can be prevented through vigilant basic infection control measures, including wearing of surgical masks, hand and environmental hygiene.

April 3, 2020 (IJID 2020)

The enlightenment from two cases of asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2: is it safe after 14 days of isolation?  International Journal of Infectious Diseases

Zhi-Qun Mao, Ren Wan, Li-Yi He, Yue-Chun Hu, Wei Chen.

This is a case report of 2 asymptomatic infections in China, which showed persistence of SARS-CoV2 genome beyond 14 days of isolation.  Both received antiviral treatments but remained asymptomatic throughout the period. Serial chest radiographs remained negative. They both achieved 1st negative swab on Day 19 and Day 22 of contact, and 2nd negative swabs 2 days later and discharged. There were no records of infections to close contacts.

April 2, 2020 (Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol.)

Potential impact of contaminated bronchoscopes on novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients

Ofstead CL, et al.

In this letter to the editor, the authors bring up the possibility of bronchoscopy-associated transmission of COVID-19 given previous evidence of bronchoscopy related nosocomial outbreaks of other pathogens.

April 2, 2020 (Nature) 

Masks could cut spread of COVID-19 virus

To mask or not to mask, the effectiveness of masking

April 1, 2020 (J. Zhejiang Univ. Sci. B)

Dialectical behavior therapy-based psychological intervention for woman in late pregnancy and early postpartum suffering from COVID-19: a case report

Huang, J., Zhou, X., Lu, S. et al.

The authors share their experience using dialectical behaviour therapy-based psychological intervention involving mindfulness training, relaxation exercise for regulating negative emotions, distress tolerance skills, as well as interpersonal skills to share distress and gain support on a pregnant COVID-19 positive patient.

March 29, 2020


Battelle Decontamination System for Decontaminating Compatible N95 Respirators

March 28, 2020 (J Microbiol Biotechnol) 

Current Status of Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Therapeutics, and Vaccines for Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Ahn DG, Shin HJ, Kim MH, Lee S, Kim HS, Myoung J, Kim BT, Kim SJ.  ​

March 28, 2020 (MedRxiv - Preprint)

Correlation between universal BCG vaccination policy and reduced morbidity and mortality for COVID-19: an epidemiological study

Aaron Miller, Mac Josh Reandelar, Kimberly Fasciglione, Violeta Roumenova, Yan Li, Gonzalo H Otazu

COVID-19 is a global pandemic, with varying impact amongst different countries. The authors propose that national differences in COVID-19 impact could be partially explained by the different national policies respect to Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) childhood vaccination. BCG vaccination has been reported to offer broad protection to respiratory infections.  The authors compared a large number of countries BCG vaccination policies with the morbidity and mortality for COVID-19 and found that countries without universal policies of BCG vaccination are more severely affected.

March 27, 2020 (Diagn Interv Radiol)

Interventional radiology and COVID-19: evidence-based measures to limit transmission

Chandy PE, Nasir MU, Srinivasan S, Klass D, Nicolaou S, Babu SB.

The authors put forth an all-encompassing review of infection control measures that cover the dynamics of patient care and staff protocols to limit transmission of COVID-19 in an interventional radiology department.

March 26, 2020 (JAMA) 

Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted

A must-read editorial by Dr. A Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

March 25, 2020 (European Journal of Radiology) 

Diagnosis of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19): rRT-PCR or CT

Researchers explored the diagnostic value of CT and real-time reverse-transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) for COVID-19 pneumonia

March 24, 2020 (Clinical and Translational Radiation Oncology)

COVID-19: Global radiation oncology’s targeted response for pandemic preparedness

Richard Simcock, Toms Vengaloor Thomas, Christopher Estes, Andrea R. Filippi, Matthew S. Katz, Ian J. Pereira, Hina Saeed

As the global COVID-19 pandemic escalates there is a need within radiation oncology to work to support patients in the best way possible. Measures are required to reduce infection spread between patients and within the workforce. The #radonc community held an urgent online journal club on Twitter in March 2020 to discuss these issues and create some consensus on crucial next steps. This document summarises these discussions around themes of infection prevention, rationalisation of workload and working practice in the presence of infection.

March 23, 2020 (The Lancet)

Temporal profiles of viral load in posterior oropharyngeal saliva samples and serum antibody responses during infection by SARS-CoV-2: an observational cohort study

Kelvin Kai-WangTo, Owen Tak-YinTsang, Wai-Shing Leung, Anthony RaymondTam, Tak-Chiu Wu David Christopher Lung, Cyril Chik-Yan Yip, Jian-Piao Cai, …Kwok-Yung Yuen

The more viral RNA detected in a person’s body, the more they excrete when coughing or sneezing. The authors say that the high levels of SARS-CoV-2 particles detected at the onset of symptoms suggest that the virus can be transmitted easily between people, even when symptoms are relatively mild. The results are consistent with another study by L. Zou et al. (shared below).

March 20, 2020 (Int. J of Inf. Diseases)

COVID-19: Four Paediatric Cases in Malaysia

K.C. See, S.M. Liew, David C.E. Ng , E.L. Chew , E.M. Khoo , C.H. Sam, D. Sheena, Z. Zahilah Filzah, S.Y. Chin, P.Y. Lee, L.P. Tan, Z. Farah Najwa et al.

The authors briefly report 4 paediatric cases of confirmed COVID-19 in Malaysia. They discuss the major issues regarding the care of infected children. Firstly, the quarantine of an infected child with a parent who tested negative was an ethical dilemma. Secondly, oropharyngeal and nasal swabs in children were at risk of false negative results. These issues have implications for infection control. They conclude that there is a need for clearer guidelines for child quarantine and testing methods in the management of COVID-19 in children.

March 20, 2020 (Clinical Infectious Diseases) 

Epidemiological and clinical predictors of COVID-19

The authors conclude that clinical and laboratory data could identify individuals at high risk of COVID-19 and enable prioritization of PCR-testing and containment efforts. Basic laboratory test results are crucial to prediction models.

March 19, 2020 (J of Reproductive Immunology)

Why are pregnant women susceptible to COVID-19? An immunological viewpoint

Hong Liu, Li-Ling Wang, Si-Jia Zhao, Joanne Kwak-Kim,  Gil Mor, Ai-Hua Liao

The COVID-19 may alter the maternal symmetrical and local immune responses, and affect the well-being of mothers and infants. Pregnant women are more susceptible to respiratory pathogens; hence, they may be more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 than the general population. Here, the authors focused on the immunological factor of the susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19 and the potential damages to mother and fetus.

March 19, 2020 (NEJM)

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, Jinyu Xia, Qianfang Guo, Hui-Ling Yen, Jie Wu

The authors analyse the SARS-CoV2 virus from nose and throat swabs from 18 people with COVID-19. The concentrations of viral RNA in the 17 symptomatic patients were similar to that in the one asymptomatic patient.

March 3, 2020 (Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B)

Clinical value of the emergency department in screening and diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 in China

Qin Zhang, Jian Pan, Min-xing Zhao, Yuan-qiang Lu

The emergency department shoulders a heavy responsibility of screening COVID-19 while treating all kinds of other non-communicable acute and critical diseases. In this article, the authors retrospectively analyze four representative cases of COVID-19 that were recently screened and diagnosed in their emergency department. These cases demonstrate that the emergency department has irreplaceable clinical value in the accurate screening and diagnosis of COVID-19.

February 26, 2020 (J of Autoimmunity)

The epidemiology and pathogenesis of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

Hussin A. Rothan, Siddappa N. Byrareddy

In this review, the authors highlight the symptoms, epidemiology, transmission, pathogenesis, phylogenetic analysis and future directions to control the spread of COVID-19.


B. Science and Engineering

Aug 1, 2020 (Science of The Total Environment)

Can we predict the occurrence of COVID-19 cases? Considerations using a simple model of growth

Fábio A.M. Cássaro,  Luiz F.Pires

The authors simulate SARS-COV-2 evolution by using the cumulative distribution function (CDF). They predict the first derivative of CDF on the number of new daily cases from China and other European countries. The results presented highlighted the importance of a more realistic model of growth to check the evolution of the confirmed cases.

July 10 2020 Journal of Fluid Mechanics 

The flow physics of COVID-19

Rajat Mittal, Rui Ni and Jung-Hee Seo

Flow physics plays a key role in nearly every facet of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the generation and aerosolization of virus-laden respiratory droplets from a host, its airborne dispersion and deposition on surfaces, as well as the subsequent inhalation of these bioaerosols by unsuspecting recipients. Fluid dynamics is also key to preventative measures such as the use of face masks, hand washing, ventilation of indoor environments and even social distancing. This article summarizes what we need to learn about the science underlying these issues so that we are better prepared to tackle the next outbreak of COVID-19.


June 2020  (Chaos, Solitons & Fractals)

Predicting turning point, duration and attack rate of COVID-19 outbreaks in major Western countries

Xiaolei Zhang.Renjun Ma, Lin Wang

The authors use a segmented Poisson model incorporating the power law and the exponential to study the COVID-19 outbreaks. They estimate  the turning point, final size, duration and the attack rate. They then report the findings of daily new cases of the six Western countries in the Group of Seven.



June 2020  (Computers in Biology and Medicine)

Automated detection of COVID-19 cases using deep neural networks with X-ray images

Tulin Ozturk, Muhammed Talo, Eylul Azra Yildirim, et al

The authors propose deep model for early detection of COVID-19 cases using X-ray images.They claim accuracy of 98.08% and 87.02% for binary and multi-classes. The proposed heatmaps can help the radiologists to locate the affected regions on chest X-rays.The authors  conclude that   DarkCovidNet model can assist the clinicians to make faster and accurate diagnosis.

May 22 2020  (CHEM)

Chemistry and Biology of SARS-CoV-2

Alexander Dömling,  Li Gao

 An overview is given on the current knowledge of the spread, disease course, and molecular biology of SARS-CoV-2. Yhe authors discuss potential treatment developments in the context of recent outbreaks, drug repurposing and the development timelines.


May 20 2020   (IRBM)

Deep Transfer Learning based Classification Model for COVID-19 Disease

Yadunath Pathak, Prashant Kumar Shukla,  AkhileshTiwari,  et al

In this study, the deep transfer learning model is used to classify COVID-19 infected patients by considering their chest CT images. The deep transfer learning model is trained on a benchmark open dataset of chest CT images.



May 14 2020 Nature (2020)

Infection of dogs with SARS-CoV-2

Sit, T.H.C., Brackman, C.J., Ip, S.M. et al.

Very little is known about the susceptibility of domestic pet animals to SARS-CoV-2. Two out of fifteen dogs from households with confirmed human cases of COVID-19 in Hong Kong SAR were found to be infected using quantitative RT–PCR, serology, sequencing the viral genome, and in one dog, virus isolation. The evidence so far suggests that these are instances of human-to-animal transmission of SARS-CoV-2. It is unclear whether infected dogs can transmit the virus to other animals or back to humans.

May 12, 2020 Internet of Things

Predicting the Growth and Trend of COVID-19 Pandemic using Machine Learning and Cloud Computing

ShreshthTuli, Shikhar Tuli, RakeshTuli et al

The authors proposed a novel scheme to predict the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic. A model was designed  based on Cloud Computing and Machine Learning for real-time prediction. They claimed improved prediction accuracy compared to the baseline method.



May 8, 2020 ACS Energy Lett  

OVID-19, Climate Change, and Renewable Energy Research: We Are All in This Together, and the Time to Act Is Now

Song Jin

This editorial makes a plea for scientists and policy makes to act and work together in battling against the Covid-19 along with climate change and renewable energy. It is interesting read with the key message for us to act now before it is too late.


May 3, 2020  Biology

Temperature Decreases Spread Parameters of the New Covid-19 Case Dynamics

Jacques Demongeot , Yannis Flet-Berliac  and Hervé Seligmann

The authors collected and analysed external temperature and new covid-19 cases in 21 countries and in the French administrative regions. Associations between epidemiological parameters of the new case dynamics and temperature were examined using an ARIMA model. They demonstrated  in the first stages of the epidemic, the velocity of contagion decreases with country- or region-wise temperature. The results indicate that high temperatures diminish initial contagion rates, but seasonal temperature effects at later stages of the pandemic remain unanswerd.

April 27, 2020 (Nature)

Aerodynamic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in two Wuhan hospitals

Yuan Liu, Zhi Ning, Ke Lan

While the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via human respiratory droplets and direct contact is clear, the potential for aerosol transmission is poorly understood. This study investigates the aerodynamic nature of SARS-CoV-2 by measuring viral RNA in aerosols in different areas of two Wuhan hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak in February and March 2020.  The authors propose that the virus could be transmitted via aerosols. They show that room ventilation, open space, sanitization of protective apparel, and proper use and disinfection of toilet areas can effectively limit the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in aerosols.


April 24, 2020 (PLOS Biology)

Leveraging open hardware to alleviate the burden of COVID-19 on global health systems

Andre Maia Chagas , Jennifer C. Molloy , Lucia L. Prieto-Godino  et al

The authors summarise community-driven approaches based on Free and Open Source scientific and medical Hardware (FOSH) as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) currently being developed to support the global response for COVID-19 prevention, treatment and diagnosis. If you are interested to explore further, do read this paper.



April 20, 2020  (J Biomol Struct Dyn)

Novel 2019 Coronavirus Structure, Mechanism of Action, Antiviral Drug Promises and Rule Out Against Its Treatment

Subramanian Boopathi , Adolfo B Poma, Ponmalai Kolandaivel

This review addresses novel coronavirus structure, mechanism of action, and trial test of antiviral drugs in the laboratories and patients with COVID-19. Computational simulation such as computer-aided drug design has been a very useful research tool. It has very good illustrations on the structures and mechanisms of action.


Apr 17, 2020 (Eur Radiol Exp)

Deep Learning Detection and Quantification of Pneumothorax in Heterogeneous Routine Chest Computed Tomography

S Röhrich, T Schlegl, C Bardach et al

The authors developed a deep learning method for the detection and quantification of pneumothorax in heterogeneous routine clinical data to facilitate the automated triage of urgent examinations and make decision for treatment support.

They used a deep residual UNet  to evaluate automated, volume-level pneumothorax grading (i.e., labelling a volume whether a pneumothorax was present or not), and pixel-level classification (i.e., segmentation and quantification of pneumothorax), on a retrospective series of routine chest CT data.


April 13, 2020  (PNAS) 

Viral zoonotic risk is homogenous among taxonomic orders of mammalian and avian reservoir hosts

Nardus Mollentze and  Daniel G. Streicker

The authors report that variation in the frequency of zoonoses among animal orders can be explained without invoking special ecological or immunological relationships between hosts and viruses. They point to a need to reconsider current approaches aimed at finding and predicting novel zoonoses.


April 12, 2020  (Infect Genet Evol)

Mathematical model of infection kinetics and its analysis for COVID-19, SARS and MERS

Liang K

This paper reveals the spread rules of the three pneumonia: COVID-19, SARS and MERS, and then compares them. Stats analysis shows that the growth rate of COVID-19 is about twice that of the SARS and MERS, and the COVID-19 doubling cycle is two to three days.

April 10, 2020 

Modeling the COVID-19 pandemic - parameter identification and reliability of predictions

Hackl, K.

This paper tries to identify the parameters in an epidemic model, the so-called SI-model, via non-linear regression using data of the COVID-19 pandemic. They attempt to estimate the reliability of predictions. They validate this procedure using data from China and South Korea and then we apply to predict for Germany, Italy and the United States.

April 9, 2020 (J Chem Inf Model)

A Community Letter Regarding Sharing Bimolecular Simulation Data for COVID-19

Rommie E. Amaro  and Adrian J. Mulholland

This letter highlights the urgent need to share methods, models and results openly and quickly to test findings, ensure reproducibility, test significance  and accelerate discovery. Sharing of data for COVID-19 applications will help connect scientists across the global biomolecular simulation community and to  improve collaboration.

April 8, 2020 (Int J Mol Sci)

Development of a Novel, Genome Subtraction-Derived, SARS-CoV-2-Specific COVID-19-nsp2 Real-Time RT-PCR Assay and Its Evaluation Using Clinical Specimens

Yip CC, Ho CC, Chan JF et al

The team developed a rapid, sensitive, SARS-CoV-2-specific real-time RT-PCR assay on COVID-19-nsp2. They tested on 96 SARS-CoV-2 and 104 non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus genomes and using their in-house program, GolayMetaMiner, four specific regions longer than 50 nucleotides in the SARS-CoV-2 genome were identified. Evaluation of the new assay using 59 clinical specimens from 14 confirmed cases showed 100% concordance with their previously developed COVID-19-RdRp/Hel reference assay.

April 8, 2020 (PNAS)

Phylogenetic network analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomes

Peter Forster, Lucy Forster, Colin Renfrew and Michael Forster

The authors have found three main variants in a phylogenetic network analysis of 160 complete human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) genomes. The network reliably traces routes of infections for documented coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, indicating that the phylogenetic networks can be successfully used to help trace undocumented COVID-19 infection sources of the disease worldwide.

April 07, 2020  Patterns

COVID-19 Is a Data Science Issue

Sarah Callaghan

This editorial highlights the important role of data science in this global publich health emergency. Data scientists should rise to the occasion and contribute to the solution. It has a very useful web resources.

April 2, 2020

Stochastic modeling and estimation of COVID-19 population dynamics


The authors describe a model of the development of the Covid-19 contamination of the population of a country or a region

April 2, 2020

COVID-Net: A Tailored Deep Convolutional Neural Network Design for Detection of COVID-19 Cases from Chest Radiography Images

The authors are developing an open access COVID-Net  to accelerate the development of highly accurate yet practical deep learning solutions for detecting COVID-19 cases and appropriate treatment to be given. 

March 29, 2020   

Understanding the COVID19 Outbreak: A Comparative Data Analytics and Study

The authors present a comprehensive analytics visualization to address some research questions. This is the first systematic analytical paper that pave the way towards a better understanding of COVID-19. 


C. Social/Humanity/Economy/Business/Government/Policy

September 2020  (Safety Science)

Estimating and projecting air passenger traffic during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and its socio-economic impact

Stefano MariaIacus, Fabrizio Natale, Carlos Santamaria et al

This paper presents forecasts of air traffic for more than 222,557 routes around the world, concerning 3,909 origin airports and 3,897 destination airports and involving 234 countries using historic data sets. These forecasts are then discounted, through different scenarios, for the COVIV-19 related flight ban from January 2020. The scenarios are based on both observed routes and flights cancellation using a mix of flight tracking data and on-line booking data, as well as hypotheses based on previous pandemic experience that affected the aviation sector. The authors then try to calculate the socio-economic impact measured in terms of loss of GDP due to up to 30 million potential job losses in the aviation and related sectors. In 2020 up to 1.67% of world GDP could be lost due to reduction in aviation. The authors note a number of caveats related to their scenarios and methodological assumptions.



July 2020  (International Review of Financial Analysis) 

COVID-19 pandemic, oil prices, stock market, geopolitical risk and policy uncertainty nexus in the US economy: Fresh evidence from the wavelet-based approach

ArshianSharif, ChakerAloui, Larisa Yarovaya et al

The authors examine the relationship between two serious shocks affecting the US economy: the spread of the novel COVID-19 pandemic and the recent oil price slump. The y conclude the combination of these two problems will likely initiate a long-term economic downturn and drive the US economy into the next recession. The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak is causing unprecedented effects on the US stock markets’ volatility whose levels rival or exceed those observed during October 1987, December 2008 and during the 1929 crash.


June 2020  (International Journal of Surgery)

The socio-economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19): A review

Maria Nicola, Zaid Alsafi, Catrin Sohrabi et al

The authors research and sunmarise the social-economic impact on the individual aspects of the world economy.They focus on three sectors: Primary (agriculture, petrolrum and oil); secondary (manufacturing industry); tertiary (education, finance, healthcare, pharmaceutical, travel, tourism, aviation, sports, food, IT). They then highlight the social impacts. The authors conclude with some recommendations. Overall a very good review that provides insights into the social-economic impacts of Covid-19.



May 22, 2020   (Science) 

Ethics of controlled human infection to address COVID-19

Seema K. Shah, Franklin G. Miller, Thomas C. Darton et al

This article addresses some of the ethical considerations associated with controlled human infection studies (CHIs) for vaccine development for severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).  The authors refer to “a comprehensive, state-of-the-art ethical framework for CHIs “ they have been developing that emphasizes their social value as fundamental to justifying these studies. They argue  ethics of CHIs in general are underexplored and ethical examinations of SARS-CoV-2 CHIs have largely focused on whether the risks are acceptable and participants could give valid informed consent. The authors agree on the ethical conditions for conducting SARS-CoV-2 CHIs but differ on whether the social value of such CHIs is sufficient to justify the risks at present. The articles provides ethical guidance for research sponsors, communities, participants, and the essential independent reviewers considering SARS-CoV-2 CHIs. The approach doeas not appear to address the unique time pressures presented by the COVID-19 pandemic but rather argue their framework and analysis support “laying the groundwork for CHIs”. This would involve several steps including “a challenge strain, drafting consensus protocols that address ethical concerns, and engaging stakeholders to enhance their social value, minimize risks, and build public trust”.


May 15, 2020 Science Vol. 368, Issue 6492, pp. 716-718

Policy opportunities to enhance sharing for pandemic research

Michelle Rourke, Mark Eccleston-Turner, Alexandra Phelan4 e al


The authors point out that despite the scale of the pandemic threat, the lack of a clear legal obligation to share pathogens or associated data on genetic sequencing during a health emergency represents a blind spot in international law and governance, impeding pandemic response and scientific progress. Th paper examines the sharing of public health information, biological samples, and genetic sequencing data (GSD ) in the still early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The authors identify barriers to sharing under the current international legal system, and propose legal and policy reforms needed to enhance international scientific cooperation.

May 12, 2020  American Journal of Health Promotion

Social Capital in the Response to COVID-19

Nicholas Pitas , Colin Ehmer

Drawing on evidence from past crises, the authors recommend individuals, communities, and government institutions work to strengthen and expand social networks in order to overcome deficiencies or disruptions in social capital brought about by physical distancing under Covid-19.


 May 12 2020    Business Horizons

The COVID-19 Virtual Idea Blitz: Marshaling social entrepreneurship to rapidly respond to urgent grand challenges

Sophie Bacq, Will Geoghegan, Matthew Josefy et al

The authors describe a virtual on line event that was organized and executed in less than a week and ultimately involved 200 entrepreneurs, coders, medical doctors, venture capitalists, industry professionals, students, and professors from around the world. 21 ideas were developed in five thematic areas: health needs, education, small businesses, community, and purchasing. The paper describes the organisational approach and the key learning of “this spontaneous entrepreneurial endeavour”.



May 12 2020    Psychiatry Research

Psychological Outcomes Associated with Stay-at-Home Orders and the Perceived Impact of COVID-19 on Daily Life

Matthew T.Tull, Keith Edmonds,  Kayla  Scamaldo et al

This study examined relations of both stay-at-home orders and the perceived impact of COVID-19 on daily life to psychological outcomes (depression, health anxiety, financial worry, social support, and loneliness) in a nationwide U.S. community adult sample questionnaire survey.  Being under a stay-at-home order was associated with greater health anxiety, financial worry, and loneliness. The perceived impact of COVID-19 on daily life was positively associated with health anxiety, financial worry, and social support, but negatively associated with loneliness. The authors highlight the importance of social connection to mitigate the negative psychological consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.



May 11, 2020 Personality and Individual Differences

The development and initial tests for the psychometric properties of the COVID-19 Phobia Scale (C19P-S)

Ibrahim Arpaci, Kasım Karataş, Mustafa Baloğlu!

The authors agrue that negative effects of Covid-19 are not limited to psycho-pathological problems with serious physiological, social, and economical difficulties observed in various counties. They suggest a new type of specific phobia associated with Covid-19 is identifiable and is worthy of further research.

May 7, 2020 (Industrial Marketing Management)

The Coronavirus crisis in B2B settings: Crisis uniqueness and managerial implications based on social exchange theory

Roberto Mora, Corteza Wesley, J.Johnstonb

The authors examine differences in response of business-to-business (B2B) organisations to the Covid-19 crisis. A study of 11 businesses in USA, Latin America and Europe identifies four key areas of recovery where 22 practices in the form of recommendations for B2B businesses managers. These include actions such as: implementing digital showrooms for customers; training customers on e-commerce; using social media to disseminate general information or events; using webinars; decentralizing decision-making power (temporariliy); driving morale enhancement; revisiting the marketing budget; regulating tiredness and lack of choice; and reducing distractions and family tension.

May 3, 2020  (Annals of Tourism Research)

Towards a post-conflict tourism recovery framework

Maharaj  Vijay Reddy,  Stephen,  W.Boyd,  Mirela Nica

Although not specifically considering the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and its effect upon the tourist industry, this extensive review nevertheless offers some valuable insights into routes to recovery for the tourist industry following major crises. In particular, the authors argue that policy makers need to explore different strategies of response that may involve crisis communication to facilitate repositioning, as well as evaluating tourist reactions on how successful they see those recovery strategies to be.  Importantly they conclude that local communities and their voices need better understanding. Funded in part by British Council and the University Grants Commission of India for their financial support under the umbrella of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative(UKIERI).



May 1, 2020 Journal of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety Regarding Contracting COVID-19 Related to Interoceptive Anxiety Sensations: The Moderating Role of Disgust Propensity and Sensitivity

Dean McKay, Haibo Yang, Jon Elhai. Gordon Asmundson

A total of 908 Chinese adults (mean age = 40.37 years, SD = 9.27; n = 752 female) participated in a survey distributed between February 24 and March 15, 2020. Results support a moderating relationship between both disgust propensity and sensitivity in the relationship between physical concerns associated with anxiety sensitivity and fear of contracting COVID-19. The authors argue the results lend support for individual variation in the activation of the Behavioral Immune System (BIS) which contributes to pandemics anxiety. Recommendations for public education to target individuals who may experience mental health consequences from pandemics are provided.


April 25, 2020  (Journal of Accounting and Public Policy)

Estimating the COVID-19 cash crunch: Global evidence and policy

AntonioDe Vito,  Juan-PedroGómez

The authors from Spain investigate how the COVID-19 health crisis could affect the liquidity of listed firms across 26 countries. They stress-test three liquidity ratios for each firm with full and partial operating flexibility in two scenarios corresponding to drops in sales of 50% and 75%, respectively. In the most adverse scenario, the average firm with partial operating flexibility would exhaust its cash holdings in two years when its current liabilities would increase, on average, by eight times. The authors  suggest that the average firm would have to resort to the debt market to prevent a liquidity crunch. Approximately 1/10th of all sample firms would become illiquid within six months.

Regarding two different fiscal policies, tax deferrals and bridge loans, that governments could implement to mitigate the liquidity risk, the analysis suggests bridge loans are more cost-effective “to prevent a massive cash crunch”.


April 22, 2020 (Science of The Total Environment)

COVID-19 outbreak: Migration, effects on society, global environment and prevention

Indranil Chakraborty, Prasenjit Maity

The authors provide a general summary of the global human health and economic impact of Covid-19 to 18 April 2020 largely drawing upon WHO and OECD data. They argue that one of the consequences of the pandemic has been the successful recovery of the environment “that should definitely set [a] positive impact on global climate change”. They conclude that “Whatever be [sic] the cause or origin, the occurrence of COVID-19 has emphasized [the need] to improve the mutually-affective connection between humans and nature”.


April 21, 2020 (The Lancet Psychiatry)

Suicide risk and prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic

David Gunnell,  LouisAppleby, Ella Arensman, et al

This is an important Comment in the Lancet by members of the International COVID-19 Suicide Prevention Research Collaboration.

They state that the Covid-19 pandemic will cause distress and leave many people vulnerable to mental health problems and suicidal behaviour. Mental health consequences are likely to be present for longer and peak later than the actual pandemic itslef. However, the authors comment that research evidence and the experience of national strategies provide a strong basis for suicide prevention. A series of actions are highlighted that the authors state need to be backed by vigilance and international collaboration. The views and recommendations are endorsed by the International Association of Suicide Prevention, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the International Academy of Suicide Research


April 21, 2020 Royal Society of Medicine

Preparing for COVID-19’s aftermath: simple steps to address social determinants of health

Anant Jani

 A very short essay suggesting to take simple steps in areas we can control to optimise spend of limited resources for efficient recovery from COVID-19.

April 16, 2020 (PLOS ONE)

Mental health problems and social media exposure during COVID-19 outbreak

Junling Gao, Pinpin Zheng, Yingnan Jia, et al

This large cross-sectional on-line survey of Chinese citizens during the COVID-19 outbreak found a high prevalence of mental health problems positively associated with frequent Social Media Exposure (SME). The authors suggest that disinformation and false reports about the virus bombarded social media and stoked unfounded fears among many “netizens” (citizens using the internet). They argue that this exposure may confuse people and harm their mental health with many also expressing negative feelings, such as fear, worry, nervous, anxiety on social media…”which are contagious social network” (sic).

April 16, 2020 (Death Studies)

Coronavirus anxiety scale: A brief mental health screener for COVID-19 related anxiety

Sherman Lee

The author posits a Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS), which is a brief mental health screener to identify probable cases of dysfunctional anxiety associated with the COVID-19 crisis. This 5-item scale, which was based on an online survey of 775 adults with anxiety over the coronavirus, demonstrated solid reliability and validity.  Elevated CAS scores were found to be associated with coronavirus diagnosis, impairment, alcohol/drug coping, negative religious coping, extreme hopelessness, suicidal ideation, as well as attitudes toward President Trump and towards Chinese products. 


April 15, 2020 (International Sociology)

COVID-19 infodemic: More retweets for science-based information on coronavirus than for false information

Cristina M Pulido, Beatriz Villarejo-Carballido, Gisela Redondo-Sama,  et al

This study aims at shedding new light on social media during an “infodemic” by analysing the type of tweets that circulated on Twitter around the COVID-19 outbreak for two days.  In order to understand how false and true information was shared, 1000 tweets are analyzed. Results show that false information is tweeted more, but retweeted less, than science-based evidence or fact-checking tweets. Science-based evidence and fact-checking tweets capture more engagement than mere facts themselves.

April 10, 2020  JAMA. 2020;323(18):1758-1759

King Lear Under COVID-19 Lockdown

Anoushka Sinha

Shakespeare inspired reflections of a pediatrics intern training in New York City on the Covid-19 pandemic. Reflecting on the tragdy of King Lear (rather than other works such as the Comedy of Errors).

April 10, 2020 (Journal of Air Transport Management)

Identification of critical airports for controlling global infectious disease outbreaks: Stress-tests focusing in Europe

Paraskevas Nikolaou, Loukas Dimitriou

The objective of this extensive and detailed paper was to highlight possible disease spreading in the European region and to advocate the enhancement of Europe's control measures in order to prevent a disease spreading inside the region. A detailed epidemiological model is integrated with airlines’ and land transport network, to simulate the epidemic spread of infectious diseases originated from distant locations.

The results provide convincing evidence on the effectiveness that the European airports' system offer in controlling the emergence of epidemics, but also on the time and extent that controlling measures should be taken in order to break the chain of infections in realistic cases.

In a scenario examining a disease outbreak starting from Asia, the study highlights the importance of the time in closure/control measures applied in large regions, since few days of delay may result in wide spread of viruses in the general population of a region. 

April 10, 2020  

Is the spread of COVID-19 across countries influenced by environmental, economic and social factors?

Hossain, M. A.

Why some countries and regions are more affected than some other countries and regions? The author employs simple statistical methods to investigate any relationship between the severity of the disease and the environmental, economic and social parameters. The preliminary results indicate that the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection is higher in countries with lower yearly average temperatures, higher economic openness, and stronger political democracy.

April 9, 2020 (N Engl J Med)

Covid-19 — The Law and Limits of Quarantine

Wendy E. Parmet and Michael S. Sinha

This short “Perspective” article addresses some of the legislative challenges presented by the need for public health intervention to restrict the outbreak of COVID-19 in the USA.

April 6, 2020 (Lancet Child Adolesc Health)

School Closure and Management Practices During Coronavirus Outbreaks Including COVID-19: A Rapid Systematic Review

Russell M Viner, Simon J Russell, Helen Croker, et al

The authors searched three electronic databases to identify what is known about the effectiveness of school closures and other school social distancing practices during coronavirus outbreaks. They included 16 of 616 identified articles. School closures were deployed rapidly across mainland China and Hong Kong for COVID-19. However, the search identified no data on the relative contribution of school closures to transmission control. The authors conclude that “when considering school closures for COVID-19… combinations of social distancing measures should be considered. Other less disruptive social distancing interventions in schools require further consideration if restrictive social distancing policies are implemented for long periods”.

April  2020 (Progress in Disaster Science)

Governance, technology and citizen behavior in pandemic: Lessons from COVID-19 in East Asia

Rajib Shaw,  Yong-kyunKim, Jinling Hua

This paper analyses responses in China, Japan and South Korea to the Covid-19 pandemic form the perspective of governance, and provides some commonalities and lessons. While the countries follow different mechanisms of governance, it was found that certain decisions in respective countries made a difference, along with strong community solidarity and community behavior. The authors highlight extensive use of emerging technologies along with medical/health care treatment to make the responses more effective and reduce the risk of the spread of the disease.

March 31, 2020 

The propagation of the economic impact through supply chains: The case of a mega-city lockdown against the spread of COVID-19

This study quantifies the economic effect of a possible lockdown of Tokyo to prevent spread of COVID-19

March 30, 2020 (Anaesthesia)

A. K. M. Chan, C. P. Nickson, J. W. Rudolph, A. Lee G. M. Joynt

Social media for rapid knowledge dissemination: early experience from the COVID‐19 pandemic. Anaesthesia

In this Editorial the authors argue that well‐designed free open access educational material should distil key information in a clear, actionable format, while paired with social media–powered dissemination using social networks, in addition to traditional communication methods. Utilising social media in this way has shown promise as a speedier alternative. The use of the principles of the Free Open Access Medical education (FOAM) networks further provide good examples of the effectiveness of making information freely available. Acknowledging the limitations of social media, the authors propose criteria to be implemented by users of professional social medial platforms to promote the responsible use of social media–disseminated information.


March 25, 2020 (Lancet)

Parenting in a time of COVID-19

Lucie Cluver, Jamie M Lachman, Lorraine Sherr, Inge Wessels, Etienne Krug, Sabine Rakotomalala, Stephen Blight, Susan Hillis, Gretchen Bachman, Ohad Green, Alex Butchart, Mark Tomlinson, Catherine L Ward, Jennifer Doubt, and Kerida McDonald

The authors describe how several national and international organsisations are collaborating to provide open access online parenting resources during COVID-19. These resources focus on concrete tips to build positive relationships, divert and manage bad behaviour, and manage parenting stress. They are shared through social media.


Mar 25, 2020 (CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14511)

Stefano Ramelli and Alexander F. Wagner.nFeverish Stock Price Reactions to COVID-19

This paper studies how markets adjust to the sudden emergence of previously neglected risks. It analyzed the stock price effects of the 2019 novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The authors also discusses a possible economic crisi scenario.  If you want to find out which sectors are most adversely affected, read on.

March 24, 2020 (Nature Human Behavior)

Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response

Van Bavel, J. J., et al.

The Authors argue that because the COVID-19 pandemic crisis requires large-scale behaviour change and places significant psychological burdens on individuals, insights from the social and behavioural sciences can be used to help align human behavior with the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health experts. The authors discuss evidence from a selection of research topics relevant to pandemics, including work on navigating threats, social and cultural influences on behaviour, science communication, moral decision-making, leadership, and stress and coping. They note the nature and quality of prior research, including uncertainty and issues not settled. They identify several insights for effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also highlight important gaps researchers should move quickly to fill in the coming weeks and months.


March 23, 2020 (Lancet Infect Dis)

Scientific and ethical basis for social-distancing interventions against COVID-19

Joseph A Lewnarda and  Nathan C Lob

The authors argue that the effectiveness and societal impact of quarantine and social distancing will depend on the credibility of public health authorities, political leaders, and institutions. It is important that policy makers maintain the public's trust through use of evidence-based interventions and fully transparent, fact-based communication.



March 22, 2020 (SSRN)

Economic Effects of Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19) on the World Economy

Fernandes, Nuno

This report discusses the economic impact of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis across industries, and countries. It also provides estimates of the potential global economic costs of COVID-19, and the GDP growth of different countries. The current draft includes estimates for 30 countries, under different scenarios. The report also shows the economic effects of outbreak are currently being underestimated, due to over-reliance on historical comparisons with SARS, or the 2008/2009 financial crisis.

March 13, 2020 (J. Risk Financial Manag)

Suspending Classes Without Stopping Learning: China’s Education Emergency Management Policy in the COVID-19 Outbreak

Wunong Zhang, Yuxin Wang, Lili Yang, and Chuanyi Wang

(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19’s Risk Management and Its Impact on the Economy)

The authors discuss an emergency policy initiative called “Suspending Classes Without Stopping Learning” that was launched by the Chinese government to continue teaching activities as schools across the country were closed to contain the Covid-19 virus. The authors report ambiguity and disagreement about what to teach, how to teach, the workload of teachers and students, the teaching environment, and the implications for education equity. The authors describe some of the difficulties and outline some possible solutions.


March 12,  2020 (Social Health and Behavior) 

Social reaction toward the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Lin CY

In this editorial the author advocates there is a need to design an effective antistigma program that breaks the misperception in COVID-19, increases public's knowledge in COVID-19, and spreads encouraging positive and supportive messages. Such a program can be designed with the use of social media, given the high access rate in social media to combat misinformation, stigma and fear.

March 10, 2020 

The COVID-19 Social Media Infodemic

The authors present the diffusion of information about the COVID-19 with a massive data analysis on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and Gab

March, 2020 (The Medical Journal of Australia)

Pre-emptive low cost social distancing and enhanced hygiene implemented before local COVID-19 transmission could decrease the number and severity of cases

A pre-emptive phase would  assist government, workplaces, schools and businesses to prepare for a more stringent phase. Low cost enhanced hygiene and social distancing measures should be considered.


Gaps in Research

we hope to find out more information in these areas:

Updated: April 13, 2020

A.  Clinical/Pre-clinical

  • Tracking the seasonality of the COVID 19 with current flu season

  • Studying the co-infection with other parasites/pathogen and/or if increase/decrease the COVID19 virulence

  • Transmission studies in various alternative mammalian host that may act as potential reservoirs and/or definitive host for COVID19

  • Investigate plant metabolites as drug targets

  • Immunology of susceptible hosts

  • Passive antibody therapy

  • Asymptomatic transmission risk (if asymptomatic throughout and also asymptomatic after originally being symptomatic)

  • Symptomatic transmission risk and timelines

  • Cycle time interpretation and link to symptoms and transmission

  • Alternative transmission routes

  • Pathogenesis of viral diseases, its mutations and evolutions

  • Antiviral drug and vaccine development

  • Role of IL6 inhibitors and when best to begin it

  • Role of pre and post exposure prophylaxis

  • Co-morbidities and it’s influence on disease course

  • Biomarkers discovery and role in predicting cytokine storm (is finding a balance btwn allowing immune system to work vs before it comes into overdrive , and also knowing when to best start IL6)

  • Psychological and mental health

  • Radiological imaging, efficacy of CT

  • Long term effect post COVID19 on lungs

  • Secondary infection rates, risk

  • Bioethics

B.  Science and Engineering

  • IoT medical devices

  • Big data generation and analysis

  • Advanced modeling and simulation

  • GPS on viral disease distribution

  • Ultrastructure of virus (synchrotron radiation, crystallography)

  • Respirators and ventilators design and development

  • Protective devices during surgery

  • Apps for public, patients and health care workers, education, counseling

C.  Social /Humanity/Economy/Business/Government/Policy

  • E-learning during lockdown, study at home

  • Work from home, return to work

  • Impact on travel, economic recovery

  • Supply chain modeling

  • Stress diagnosis and management

  • Migrants and refugees, indigenous people

  • Government (incentives, policies, rescue of business, hospitality industries)

  • Crisis management (city lockdown management)

  • Law enforcement (law and order)

  • Media (mainstream, social, fake news)

  • Revamping of retail services

  • Social cohesion

  • Transforming religious rites and worship

  • Changing tradition and practices (Qing Ming/Good Friday & Easter/Ramadan, etc)

  • Social economic recovery (including possible permanent loss of jobs made redundant by change in behaviour)

  • Trust (or lack of it on government, media, etc)

  • Food security

  • Ethical issues

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