Here we attempt to bring together all the information, resources and updates being provided by all the Asian networks and pan-Asian organisations who work in health research. The aim is to make it as easy as possible to find the right information, support and guidance, by connecting all the Asian initiatives together and making all the sources of reliable information and tools both accessible and discoverable. 

The first cases of COVID-19 in Asia were reported to the WHO on 31st December 2019, via the WHO China Country Office. The cases, detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, were the first cases of COVID-19 to be reported globally and as the cause of the condition was then unknown they were reported as 'cases of pneumonia with unknown etiology (unknown cause)'. From 31st December 2019 through 31st January 2020, a total of 44 case-patients with pneumonia of unknown etiology were reported to WHO by the national authorities in China. The causative agent was identified as a novel coronavirus, later named SARS-CoV-2, on 7th Jan 2020 by the Chinese authorities. 

More than 35 countries in Asia have now reported cases of COVID-19

How are we Responding to the COVID-19 Open Research Challenge? Experiences from South Asia

Questions around disease surveillance and characterisation as well as challenges related to prevention, diagnostics and management for COVID-19 arise in different regions. This open workshop (hosted by The Global Health Network, 23/04/2020) was organised in partnership with the Clinical Research Office, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Pakistan, bringing together experts in the field from across Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal to understand how South Asian countries are reacting to the outbreak and identifying the research gaps that need urgent attention in these settings.


Malaysia starts global “SOLIDARITY Trial” - a research effort to test possible treatments for COVID-19

The WHO's globally coordinated "SOLIDARITY trial" is an unprecedented effort to collect reliable data and compare the safety and effectiveness of four treatment protocols using different combinations of Remdesivir, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, Interferon beta, Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia has fast-tracked the process to implement the drug trials to treat patients with COVID-19 in nine different hospitals, which will begin soon. The research will be headed by Dr Chow Ting Soo, Infectious Disease Consultant at Pulau Pinang Hospital with a team comprising of 16 other physicians and pharmacists as Co-Investigators at the respective MOH hospitals. Read more here.

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Key research organisation contacts:

The following is a list of contacts within Asian organisations, including the WHO Regional Groups, China CDC and other institutions who are preparing to deal with this response. You can find more information also via the partner links listed in the right hand navigation. 

China CDC  | ADPC |  AMDA | MoH Singapore | NHC ChinaSSHSPH WHO Western Pacific | WHO South-East Asia | WHO EMRO | WHO Europe