Virtual Workshop: Community of Practice for Research Implementation in COVID19 

Register for upcoming workshop in Portuguease:  How are we responding to the COVID-19 research challenge? March 31, 2020 2:00 PM London (NOTE CHANGE IN TIME GMT+1 BST)

Workshop Virtual sobre COVID-19 para Países Lusófonos

Tema: Como estamos enfrentando esse desafio?

Como o seu país está agindo (vigilância, diagnóstico, novas intervenções, prevenção, medidas governamentais etc)? 

Quais lacunas em pesquisa precisam ser imediatamente enfrentadas?

Você possui/conhece ferramentas em português que possam ser úteis para respondermos a esse cenário?

Data: Terça-feira, 31 de março de 2020

Horário: (PLEASE NOTE CHANGE IN TIME) 2-3 PM London (GMT+1 BST) (Brazil / Angola: 10 am, Cape Verde 12noon, Mozambique: 3 pm)

Idioma: Português

Panelistas: Wildo Araújo (Brasil), Maria da Luz (Cabo Verde), Francisco Saute (Moçambique) and Jocelyne Vasconcelos (Angola). 

Participarão como panelists representantes renomados do Brasil, Moçambique, Cabo Verde e Angola, que compartilharão como esses países estão respondendo ao COVID-19 e quais lacunas em pesquisa precisam ser imediatamente enfrentadas para que essa resposta seja mais efetiva.

Essa será uma oportunidade imperdível para aprender e compartilhar conhecimento! Para participar, registre-se no link


On Friday 13th March The Global Health Network supported two virtual workshops (same format; different time zone). These had panellists from over six countries (Thailand, Rwanda, Kenya, Mozambique, Brazil, Honduras) and over 600 people registered from across Africa, Asia and Latin America. The aim was to establish an open community of practice to support the implementation of research within this COVID19 in varied situations, including fragile health systems.  

Watch the replays below


Here we provide initial notes in order to share the discussion as widely as possible and as soon as possible. We are going to pull together the questions, comments and further feeback over the coming days, but are posting this now in order to share this current information as rapidly as possible. 

ISARIC gave a summary of the research tools already available:  and the support that can be provided for help in implementing this The disease characterisation protocol is ready to put into place and there is help on hand from research teams who need further assistance or guidance. ISARIC also invites research teams to join one of their local networks; these are listed here. 

Nahoko Shindo was present from WHO and explained the rapid changes seen across the world over the past 2 weeks, which resulted in this classification of pandemic. This is important because it this must alert countries not yet impacted that they must now get ready. They must prepare and train their communities and get their public health messages out. There are still a large number of countries where there are only imported cases and very low levels of local transmission. These countries must work hard now to contain these clusters. The four ‘C’s are so important, and these are the different scenarios; 

  1. No Cases
  2. Few Cases
  3. Few Clusters
  4. Community transmission. 

The time is now for countries still in no cases, few cases or few cluster to act. 

For the studies so far, we are learning that viral shedding changes as the disease progresses within an infected person. Viral load appears to be highest one day before symptoms appear, remains high for 7 days and then decreases dramatically. This is the upper respiratory tract phase of the infection. Understand this is important for reducing transmission in the community. 

Overall The workshops made the following points: 

Research will be important everywhere that there are cases of COVID19; most particularly less resourced and experienced settings, in vulnerable communities. All the panellists described the challenges of case detection where the ability for validated confirmation of infection is limited. Large cities might have a reference laboratory but there are significant challenges to detecting cases in the rural areas and district hospital. Some surveillance is possible but this is highly fragmented. 

Studies are being planned and these vary from social science studies to assess the impact of social distancing and success of public health messaging, to disease characterisations studies and therapeutic trials. The need for training, standardised forms and operational guidance was described. 

Consolidating the feedback from the panellist, the questions and comments produces this consensus on what the immediate research priorities: 

Protecting health workers

Optimal approaches to surveillance / case detection

Therapeutic trials (supportive care and treatments)

Disease characterisation in varies co-infection / co-morbity settings

Impact and measures in fragile health systems

Community Engagement

Impact of measures on communities

Identification of pre-symptomatic cases

Point of care diagnostics 

There are open access protocols and support tools for disease characterisation studies and therapeutic trials being made available by WHO and ISARIC. However, there is an important gaps in protocols other areas, such as protocols for community engagement and perception studies. 

Please share any protocols being developed, associated tools and your experience. 

Over the next few days please send in your comments on the above and feedback from the workshop. Further virtual workshops are planned and these will be topic specific based on demand. So please let us know what topics would be most helpful. Requests and suggestions so far could be set out as follows: 

  1. Research studies set up and operational planning
  2. What therapeutic trials are happening where and what interventions are being tested?
  3. Community and public engagement in research and assessing public health messaging
  4. Surveillance, case detection and point of care diagnostics (what is in the pipeline)
  5. Disease characterisations studies and impact of co-infection/morbidities
  6. Workshops in other languages (Lusophone being planned for this week) 

Please sign up here to register your interest in one or more of these, or to suggest further topics.