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Coronavirus developments at a glance—26 March

A US supercomputing initiative targets the pandemic, as global regulators ease vaccine rules

United States
The White House has rolled out a new supercomputing initiative it says will “significantly advance the pace of scientific discovery” in the fight against Covid-19.

Campaigners have told the EU it must ensure that the drugs whose development it is supporting to treat Covid-19 are affordable and available to those who need them most, such as by including non-exclusive licensing as a condition in funding calls.

Italy’s top female scientists have circulated an open letter asking the government to start a research programme dedicated to tackling coronavirus, inspired by the global effort in the 1980s to combat HIV/AIDS.

Emergency education standards are being introduced to free up more nursing and medical students to help the NHS as the coronavirus pandemic stretches resources. However, there is confusion about whether students would be liable for tuition fees as part of a clinical placement.

The extent to which the coronavirus pandemic threatens university finances has been made clear after a university outlined plans to review posts held by temporary staff. This comes as a slimmed-down list of regulatory requirements designed to help universities weather the coronavirus pandemic has been unveiled by the Office for Students.

The University and College Union has urged the UK’s largest public funder of research to support precariously employed researchers during the coronavirus pandemic. And the UK needs to boost investment in vaccine production facilities now in order to avoid any delays to curbing the Covid-19 pandemic, expert have told MPs.

Medicines regulators around the world have agreed to ease stringent rules that normally govern putting vaccines into human trials, as research groups around the world race to develop jabs against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has announced plans for the country’s research response to the coronavirus outbreak, with most of the CA$275 million dollars earmarked for R&D going to biotechnology companies. And China has extended access to its Covid-19 mental health support service to students based overseas.

And finally…
Pointers for working under lockdown from the Research Professional News team.