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Coronavirus developments at a glance: 18-24 July

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

In depth: Will politicians or experts carry the can for Covid-19?

If you sit quietly, you can hear it: a dull rumble, like the beat of approaching drums. A slow pulse that seems to be getting not only louder but closer. It’s the sound of the massed bands of the scrutiny sector—the public inquiries, commissions, reviews and reports—marching towards Whitehall and Westminster. They are coming to explore what went wrong with the government’s response to Covid-19. And to apportion blame…


The UK government must undertake “significant preparation” over the next two months to reduce the likelihood of a second wave of Covid-19 in the winter. And top scientists have blasted the UK government’s approach to testing and over-reliance on modelling in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Universities in Wales can pitch for part of a £27 million Covid-19 support package announced by the Welsh government to assist institutions in avoiding redundancies next year.

The government’s chief scientific adviser has admitted that the government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies “definitely made a mistake” on transparency in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Nuffield Foundation is reviewing its objectives and adjusting its priorities in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Impacts of Covid-19 on private R&D spending are likely to vary across countries, depending on which industries predominate, according to a new report from the European Commission.

Three organisations representing early-career scientists have sent an urgent letter to the Dutch government to ask for €350 million to support projects delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic will have a “substantial impact” on South African universities, with infrastructure projects especially vulnerable, the higher education minister has said.

Research funding in the post-Covid-19 world will be “a real balancing act” between producing strategically important evidence and keeping the science system able to respond to a wide range of needs, a leading South African scholar has said.

The University of Wollongong has reached agreement with national and state unions over a two-year job-saving plan that would defer salary increases and rule out forced redundancies.

United States
Senior Democrat senators published a $25-billion plan that aims to ensure all United States citizens can get access to a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19. 

European students travelling to the United States to study are exempt from a Covid-19 travel ban introduced in mid-March, according to media reports.

Relx, the parent company of the data analytics and publishing giant Elsevier, reported a 10 per cent drop in revenue and a 24 per cent drop in adjusted operating profit in the first half of 2020, citing the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A global group of funders has outlined principles meant to guide support for R&D into both Covid-19 and future pandemics—focusing in particular on places with fewer resources.

Chinese students are worried that the measures taken by the UK government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic fail to match those taken in their native country, research has found.