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Coronavirus developments at a glance—29 April

Guidelines for Covid clinical trials, bailout pleas, and more

Research Fortnight: In this week’s issue of our flagship UK magazine, policy experts are increasingly critical of the UK’s handling of the pandemic, questions mount about openness and political influence over a crucial science advisory group, and our editor writes that public trust in scientific advice is vital—and it relies on transparency

StoryPandemic planning under fire
Story: Sage faces growing complaints over secrecy
Editorial: Sage in the spotlight


European medical regulators and clinical practice advisers have published guidelines for running clinical trials during the Covid-19 pandemic, in an effort to “mitigate and slow down the disruption of clinical research in Europe during the public health crisis”.

The modern universities’ group MillionPlus and vice-chancellors’ body Universities UK have outlined a series of proposals they believe will protect and support key public service provision at universities, which is under threat as a result of the financial fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Cybersecurity researchers have raised concerns over plans for a contract-tracing mobile-phone application to help track Covid-19 infections in the UK. A national initiative on clinical trials aims to fast-track Covid-19 treatments for patients with coronavirus.

The Group of Eight, which represents Australia’s biggest research-intensive universities, has convened an expert group of more than 100 researchers to develop a report that outlines two strategies for the country’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

New Zealand
New Zealand’s universities are well placed financially to weather the Covid-19 crisis—and calls for researchers and teaching staff to take pay cuts are “alarmist” and not supported by evidence, education minister Chris Hipkins has said.