coronavirus research science countries

Which Countries Are Most Actively Working On Coronavirus Research?

Clément Fournier - Editor in Chief

Trained at Sciences Po Bordeaux and at Mines ParisTECH in social, environmental and economic issues, Clément has been editor-in-chief of Youmatter since 2015.

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Scientific and medical research is being done across the world in other to better understand COVID-19 and how to stop it from spreading. But which countries are the most active in this area? This is revealed by an analysis of the studies in progress.

To face the new coronavirus, we need to improve our knowledge of this virus and understand better what are its effects and how to offset them so we can get to new, effective treatments. One of the main debates on this is whether hydroxychloroquine is a good method to deal with the COVID-19. Up to this day, the scientific studies in progress have not yet conclusive been in evaluating its effectiveness.

Researchers all over the world are therefore launching clinical trials, developing new studies and monitoring protocols. But which countries are the most active in this area? We can find out by analyzing, as Finbold did, the ClinicalTrials.gov platform which brings together the clinical studies in progress.

China Leads Scientific Research On COVID-19

China, the place where it all started, the focus point from which an epidemic that quickly became a pandemic started, is currently at the forefront of the coronavirus research. With nearly 70 protocols active to date, Chinese scientists are the ones most mobilized today.

On a purely scientific level, China has done a fairly remarkable job during this pandemic: the identification of the virus and its sequencing were extremely fast. The transmission of information to the international scientific community has also been quite good.

With 41 active protocols, the US lies in the second step of the podium, which can likely be explained because it is currently the country with the largest number of active cases. This leading duo is also an illustration of how China and the United States have dominated scientific research for a few years. Their researchers have been the source of a great amount of recent scientific knowledge.

The European Scientific Research On COVID-19

Altogether, European countries have 86 active protocols. France is taking the lead with 30 active studies, followed by Italy (23) and Spain (13). Again, we can see the countries being most affected are the ones taking the lead.

They are closely followed by Germany (12) and the United Kingdom (11). In total, nearly 50 countries have already launched study protocols, and nearly 210 active studies are being carried out or about to be carried out worldwide. 

The situation is, therefore, changing very quickly and new knowledge is showing up from one day to the next. This helps explain the apparent imprecision on certain questions such as the use of hydroxychloroquine.

The Importance Of Scientific Studies In The Face Of The Coronavirus

Despite the urgency, it is important to take into account the results of these studies. Indeed, in a context where our knowledge is still very uncertain, scientific knowledge is the only way to identify effective treatments, their right dosage, and the associated risks.

More than ever, collaboration across researchers is crucial to avoid repeating mistakes and to help things move faster and accurately at the same time. Let’s hope countries and governments advocate for this cooperation during such intense and important times, rather than adopting a competitive posture. This is not a net-zero game. Millions of lives are at stake.

[Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash]

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