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Coronavirus developments at a glance: 16-22 January

The latest coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic from Research Professional News


Academic publishers have launched an initiative which mandates sharing of Covid-19 data in a public repository in an effort to speed up peer review and to support the publication of crucial, pandemic-related research.

A panel of independent experts has warned that the coronavirus pandemic has exposed that the World Health Organization lacks the power necessary to do its job.


South Africa will invest millions of Rand in local sequencing work to detect possible novel coronavirus variants, the science minister has announced.

Australia and New Zealand

One thousand international university students are to be allowed to enter New Zealand to continue their studies, in the biggest return of international students since the country’s borders were closed last March.

Australians have been urged to stop listening to non-scientific sources as uncertainty around the nation’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout continues.


Ireland’s ministers have announced €10.5 million in research and innovation spending on projects related to Covid-19, including collaboration with Northern Ireland.

France is to reopen its universities on 25 January, prime minister Jean Castex has declared, after nearly four months of lockdown to reduce coronavirus infections.

The European Medicines Agency, which is evaluating the safety and efficacy of vaccines against Covid-19 in its role as the EU’s healthcare regulator, has said that hacked internal emails relating to its vaccine evaluation that have been published online have been altered in a way that could harm public trust.

The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could lead to a fall in adult learning, a report published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre evidence service has warned.

The European Investment Bank has warned of a “growing investment gap” in Europe, with 45 per cent of companies the EIB surveyed saying they expected to reduce their investments in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic—with potentially dire consequences for R&D.


A new imaging database, coupled with artificial intelligence, aims to help researchers improve the diagnosis of patients presenting with Covid-19 symptoms.

The UK’s national funding agency, UK Research and Innovation, has announced a £2.5 million investment in a research project that will study the effects of emerging mutations of coronavirus.

PhD students whose caring responsibilities have interrupted their work during the pandemic should be offered a blanket funding extension of at least six months to make up for time missed, students have said.

Members of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities are turning campus facilities into vaccination centres as part of the national Covid-19 vaccination drive.

More mitigations have been agreed to help ease pressure on universities as they prepare for the Research Excellence Framework, although the exercise will not be delayed further.

A row over the effectiveness of lateral flow tests has heated up among researchers after a preprint suggested the tests are effective in detecting the most infectious cases of coronavirus.