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Coronavirus developments at a glance: 20-26 March

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

Path From The Pandemic: A year ago this month, hundreds of universities across Europe shut their doors as Covid-19 swept through the continent. Strict national lockdowns—unimaginable just weeks earlier—were imposed as the World Health Organization declared that Europe had become the epicentre of the pandemic.

This week, Research Europe and its sister titles at Research Professional News are launching an editorial initiative aimed at promoting debate around how the sector can recover and rebuild in a way that is more sustainable and fairer to those who work in it.

Our Path From The Pandemic initiative will focus on six themes where there is mounting pressure for changes of approach: financial sustainability, online opportunities, fairness, open research, international collaboration and trust in science.

Full story: One year on—What should the path from the pandemic look like for research?

UK feature: Path From The Pandemic: Building the sector back better

EU feature: Path From The Pandemic: Beyond the epicentre


The Greek government has told Research Professional News it plans to use €726 million from Greece’s share of the EU’s €750 billion Covid-19 recovery fund, Next Generation EU, to bolster the country’s R&D.

Public trust in AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine has fallen in several European countries since their governments paused use of the vaccine last week, a survey has found, as the company published a trial from the United States that found the vaccine was 100 per cent effective at reducing hospitalisations and deaths.

The European Commission has introduced measures to speed up the regulatory approval of Covid-19 vaccines in the EU and block their export, risking strained relations with industry and governments as it attempts to put the bloc’s vaccination programme back on track.

UK government advisers say the country’s “flagship success” in supporting the development of Covid-19 vaccines should be seen as an experiment in a “mission-orientated” industrial policy that can provide lessons for post-pandemic innovation.

Prominent South African HIV researcher Salim Abdool Karim has stepped down from co-chairing the government’s Covid-19 advisory committee, saying he wants to re-focus on his research.

New Zealand
The pandemic plan that New Zealand had in place at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic was not the right way to deal with the crisis, researchers from the University of Otago have said.

Higher education in New Zealand is still in a “get-through phase” without a fully developed strategy to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s auditor-general has said.

The Wellcome Trust has committed another £70 million to Covid-19 research, the bulk of which will go through the ACT Accelerator, an international collaboration framework to speed up the development of Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.