Only three countries have emerged as frontrunners in conducting coronavirus research by accounting for almost half of the global Covid-19 medical studies. Data retrieved from Finbold.com Coronavirus Research Index indicates that three countries have conducted 46.93% of the 2,450 total studies as of August 30th.
From the data, the United States ranks top with 620 studies representing 25.30% followed by France at 386 or 15.75%. The United Kingdom comes a distant third with 144 studies or 5.87%. In general, the top five countries with most studies are among the most impacted with the pandemic.
Notably, China where the virus originated ranks in the seventh spot with 96 studies. On the other hand, Brazil is the only South American country in the top ten list with 76 coronavirus related studies.
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As more countries were hit by the virus, the number of Covid-19 medical studies gradually increased. By the end of May, a total of 1,141 studies were being conducted. Come August, the number grew by a whopping 114.72% to 2,450.
Importance of accelerating Covid-19 studies
When the pandemic spread across the world, it immediately propelled medical research to the forefront of public attention. Initially, experts in infectious diseases, epidemiology, public health, modeling, and economics became the focus of many as they played a key role in improving Covid-19 management.
The studies were meant to accelerate diagnosis, vaccines, and therapeutics for the virus. It called for more investment in terms of resources since scientists did not have a blueprint to learn from. In recent history, no pandemic of such magnitude has been experienced.
Successful studies and a possible cure or vaccine will act as a major boost to the global economy. The health crisis crippled the global economy with the stock market plunging to all times lows. Already, the markets have shown signs of recovery with news of possible success from ongoing clinical trials for vaccines.
It is no surprise that the United States is leading the way in regards to coronavirus studies considering its the most hit country globally. The country now has recorded at least six million cases with about 183,000 deaths.
For vaccines, there are several stages involved. After the initial laboratory and animal tests, they enter the first phase of human trials and primarily analyze safety and immune responses. They enter the second phase which is the larger versions of the first phase trials.
Under the third phase, scientists attempt to determine whether a vaccine works by comparing people who receive it with those who are given a placebo shot and, over several months or years, seeing how many in each group get infected.
Russia, China announce vaccine success outside clinical trials
China and Russia have already approved the limited use of COVID-19 vaccines outside of clinical trials. The move which has raised safety concerns baffled many while at the same time leading to criticism.
As scientists continued to study the virus, there were calls for protecting and strengthening research. For most countries, there were thoughtful and concerted efforts on the part of governments, funders, and research institutions to put in place sustainable research systems. Additionally, the pandemic has evolved the need for governments to be prepared for such occurrences in the future.
The Finbold.com Coronavirus Research Index analyzes all the active clinical COVID-19 studies reported to ClinicalTrials.gov. The index shows countries that are putting in the biggest efforts in understanding the coronavirus thus helping to find an effective way to treat the disease.