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Coronavirus developments at a glance: 12-18 September

This week’s coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic from Research Professional News

In depth: Six months after Boris Johnson addressed the nation, flanked by his chief scientist and chief medical officer, UK news editor Mico Tatalovic reviews the government’s response to coronavirus.

Full story: Six months of No 10’s Covid briefings


With most universities across Europe starting many aspects of their academic year more online than in person due to Covid-19, academics and support staff are warning that limits on social contact necessitated by the pandemic are worsening inequalities in researchers’ and students’ access to the facilities they need.

Around 230 students in Bergen were diagnosed with Covid-19 last week, more than half of whom came from the Norwegian School of Economics’ (NHH) business school.

Scientists in the Independent Sage group of self-appointed commentators on Covid-19 have outlined their concerns about the prime minister’s plans to develop and launch new testing technologies for the disease that would reportedly cost around £100 billion.

The UK government should consider funding more neurological research on Covid-19, leading scientists have saidAnd the government is running out of time to fix the country’s flawed Covid-19 testing system, scientists have warned.

United States
Members of Congress from both major parties have warned that the United States could lose a generation of up-and-coming research talent due to the Covid-19 pandemic, unless the government acts quickly to shore up the financial position of universities.

Universities may look very different after the pandemic as staff have discovered the benefits of working from home, according to research by Griffith University.

New Zealand
An “infodemic” of misinformation and mistrust in scientists has accompanied the return of Covid-19 to New Zealand, according to a group of leading researchers. The Disinformation Project, run by Te Pūnaha Matatini, the New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems, has found that minority groups are susceptible to misinformation and that conspiracy theories are being adopted by existing interest groups.

Kenya’s African Population and Health Research Center and partners have launched an open access data hub focusing on sex and gender in the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In a damning assessment of the global response to Covid-19, an international panel on pandemic preparedness has called for a shake-up at the World Bank to ensure emergency funds are available for R&D during health emergencies.