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World news roundup: 15-21 May

Image: Brian A Jackson, via Shutterstock

The latest in global research policy and funding

In depth: Researchers across the world have come forward to defend the World Health Organization after US president Donald Trump accused the UN agency of mishandling the coronavirus crisis.

Full story: Researchers defend WHO after Trump publishes criticism


Asian universities call for solidarity against Covid-19

Fifty-seven universities from 12 Asian countries have called for global solidarity in the fight against coronavirus. In a 19 May letter, the South and Southeast Asian University Network advocates for stronger cooperation during the pandemic, China’s state-run news service Xinhua reported. According to its report, the letter also supports experience-sharing between institutions.

India establishes system for validating Covid-19 technologies

India’s council of medical research has released a list of institutes working on evaluating the vaccines, treatments and technologies for Covid-19 under development in the country. On 19 May it published the list, saying, “all commercial entities and innovators are advised to refer their products directly to the designated institutes”. The system is designed to help streamline testing in the country, as the council has received 190 requests to evaluate coronavirus-related technologies since the beginning of the pandemic.

Russia working on 47 potential coronavirus vaccines

Russia is working on up to 47 coronavirus vaccines, its deputy prime minister Tatyana Golikova said in a 20 May address to its upper house of parliament. The country may have a coronavirus vaccine by August, director of its National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology Alexander Gunzburg said in an interview with Russia’s state news channel Rossiya 1 on 16 May, according to the Tass news agency.