Coronavirus – Science & Analysis

Coronavirus has impacted all our lives. On this page we’re listing news items and articles that look at the underlying science of the virus, the pandemic and the effects on our lives. Understanding often helps in the process of rationalising and coping with a difficult situation.

Leading sources of science and analysis of the Coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus – Our Science & Analysis News Articles

  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Disability Right UK: New shielding guidance lacks basic protections
    This article is from Disability Rights UK’s website. The 2.2 million people advised to shield back in March have been advised by government to carry on with life, but at “one step beyond” their area’s current three-tier standing. The new guidance offers little in the way of support to those …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Long Covid – Latest interpretation of new syndrome
    Long covid, the name commonly used to explain lasting effects of covid-19, may actually be four different syndromes, according to a review by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).1 A team of researchers and doctors reviewed current evidence and interviewed post-hospitalised and …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Covid-19 Vaccine – Latest On Who Will Get It First
    This is interim advice for the Government from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the groups that should be prioritised for vaccination, if and when a vaccine is available. Introduction This update to the interim advice has been developed to facilitate planning for the …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Coronavirus Analysis: Two Approaches To “Second Wave”
    Two open letters sent to the UK’s four chief medical officers signal the polarisation of opinion among medical professionals over how the government should tackle the emerging “second wave” of covid-19. One group of doctors and academics is calling for segmentation and shielding of the most …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Operation Moonshot: BMJ Assesses Ambitious Testing Plans
    The UK government’s plans to carry out up to 10 million covid-19 tests a day by early next year as part of a £100bn expansion of its national testing programme raise many questions. The BMJ’s Gareth Iacobucci examines the leaked documents: What is Operation Moonshot? It refers to the …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Coronavirus: Key Learnings From Leicester “Intervention”
    Occasionally we highlight an article that gives particular insight into the Coronavirus pandemic. In this case it’s the report of Dame Mary Ney’s rapid stocktake of lessons learnt from the Leicester City/Leicestershire experience of responding to a local surge in COVID-19 cases. It is …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Covid-19: The Risks of Singing & Using Wind Instruments in Groups
    Singing, playing of wind instruments, and high-volume speech in presentation and performance settings have been singled out as potentially high-risk activities for transmission of SARS CoV-2, following several well-documented outbreaks associated with choirs and performances across the world. These …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    The Science of Coronavirus: Case Counting
    Novel coronavirus cases in England have been rising steadily since the beginning of July. However, this trend may not tell us what we really need to know about the pandemic and the most serious cases—or what to do about them, says Elisabeth Mahase, writing on the BMJ website. From 10 to 16 August …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Is Covid-19 becoming less deadly?
    According to an article on the New Scientist website, Coronavirus is becoming less dangerous. But, as yet, no-ne really knows why. Here’s the opening few paragraphs of the article, which sum up the conundrum. There’s a link to the remainder of the article at the foot of the page. …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    BMJ’s Covid-19 Analysis, Research & Opinion
    Here are links to some of the best news, features, analysis and opinion currently available on the excellent BMJ website. They offer lots of new perspectives on the pandemic. Research from The BMJ Drug treatments for covid-19 Glucocorticoids probably reduce mortality and mechanical ventilation in …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Analysis: Will Local Test & Trace Work
    Last week, the government announced a major shift in its approach to covid-19 contact tracing in England, by giving local council public health teams more responsibility and shrinking the national Test and Trace scheme – in this article, the BMJ asks local public health officials about their …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19 in England
    Just released by the Government is this Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, which analyses the characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19 in England, August 2020 It provides data about the characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19 from the COVID-19 Infection Survey. …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    “Long-Covid”: Impact of long term symptoms will be profound!
    A third of doctors have treated patients with long term covid-19 symptoms, including chronic fatigue and anosmia, a survey conducted by the BMA has found. Richard Vautrey, chair of the BMA’s GP committee for England, said it was clear that the long term impact of covid-19 on patients and the NHS …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    BMJ Newsletter – Wide-Ranging Covid-19 Analysis
    This is the latest newsletter from the BMJ, including a wide ranging selection of articles, analysis and opinion pieces. There’s so much to get your teeth into! Behavioural fatigue: a flawed idea central to a flawed pandemic response What is behavioural fatigue? Nobody really knows, but it is …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Antibody Tests Suggests 3.4 Million Have Had Covid-19
    Findings published by Imperial College London on 13 August 2020 suggest that 6% of the population in England, around 3.4 million people, have been infected with COVID-19. Over 100,000 volunteers have taken part in the world’s largest home antibody testing programme for coronavirus. A further 2 …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Science & Analysis: Superspreading
    Superspreading is integral to the Coronavirus pandemic, says Quentin Leclerc at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in an article on the New Scientist website. In one well-studied example, at a choir practice with 61 attendees that took place one evening in March, in Skagit County, …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Science & Analysis: BMJ’s weekly round up
    The BMJ is a reliable independent source of news and analysis of health issues – here’s their latest weekly round-up of the top items on their website: Covid-19: Acts of omission The UK government is becoming known for acts of omission. No evidence exists of Russian interference in the …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Science & Analysis – BMJ Newsletter
    Here’s the latest newsletter from the BMJ (British Medical Journal) – it’s insightful, as usual, and offers some more scientific and analytical commentary on the Coronavirus situation and other topical medical and health stories. Moving quickly in pandemics Speed is of the essence …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Eliminate coronavirus with new strategy, say Independent SAGE scientists
    The UK government has “given up” on trying to eliminate the coronavirus, says a new report published today by Independent SAGE – an independent group of scientists. They propose a new strategy aimed at the complete elimination of covid-19. It would replace what the report calls the government’s …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Science: Royal Society President Endorses Mask Wearing
    The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence and it publishes many insightful articles on matters of science. Here’s their latest piece on mask wearing during Coronavirus: Everyone should …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    UK Coronavirus – Why No Second Wave?
    The New Scientist website has an interesting article that looks at a question that’s on the minds of many people in the Uk, namely, will there be a second wave of Covid-19 infections, or will the downward trend continue? Since May 11, there has been a steady relaxing of lockdown restrictions …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Covid-19: Is airborne transmission is being underestimated?
    By Owen Dyer for the BMJ Microscopic respiratory droplets generated by talking and breathing can hover in the air for minutes or hours and drift many metres horizontally before infecting people, argue 239 experts from 32 countries, in a commentary published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. “We …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    BMJ Weekly Newsletter
    The BMJ publish a weekly Newsletter which has a huge range of medical news, articles and features – see below for the latest edition (6/7/2020). Getting it right in the pandemic The pandemic is far from over, but it’s already obvious some countries have done better than others. Germany is …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Analysis: Hand Hygiene Effectiveness
    What is the evidence for the effectiveness of hand hygiene in preventing the transmission of respiratory viruses? This is a research paper prepared for the Government and published on 2 July 2020. Key conclusions (Read the full paper here) 1. There is evidence from randomised controlled trials in …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Read Latest BMJ Newsletter
    The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is now a global company, sharing medical information and knowledge, much of it free access – here’s their latest newsletter, which contains some excellent analysis of the Coronavirus pandemic. Covid 19: Where’s the strategy for testing? It would be nice …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Analysis: Managing Infection Risk
    The Government has published a new paper on managing infection risk in high contact occupations. The full paper is available on their website, whilst we publish the summary below. Although not directly aimed at people with disabilities, it’s an interesting read as it gives a little bit more …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    British Medical Journal Response To Lockdown Easing
    From http://www.bmj.com/ The prime minister, Boris Johnson, has announced a major relaxation of England’s lockdown rules, including reducing social distancing from two metres to at least one metre “with precautions.” The new guidelines, effective from 4 July, will also allow restaurants and businesses to …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Covid-19: Local teams trace 8 times more contacts than national service
    By Elisabeth Mahase, for the BMJ Related content – Test and trace: it didn’t have to be this way – A doctor describes her experience of working in the test and trace service Local health protection teams have traced nearly eight times more contacts (77 642) than the national call …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    King’s Fund Newsletter – COVID-19 Analysis
    The King’s Fund is an independent charitable organisation working to improve health and care in England. Their vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all. They publish some excellent articles and reports on health related matters, plus newsletters – …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Vitamin D – Does It Reduce Covid-19 Risks?
    As agencies announce they are examining whether vitamin D supplements could reduce the risk of covid-19, the BMJ’s Ingrid Torjesen finds out what the existing evidence shows Public health agencies in England and Scotland are conducting urgent reviews into the potential for vitamin D to reduce …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Coronavirus Statistics/Data
    Below we list several excellent sources of statistics and data about the Coronavirus – Office for National Statistics: Catch up on the latest data and analysis related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on our economy and society. NHS Data: Data published on potential …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Science – Top Coronavirus Stories & Analysis of the Week
    The New Scientist magazine produces a weekly email round-up of the top science-themed news stories of the week – here’s this week’s selection Preventing pandemics We knew how to prevent a pandemic like the coronavirus, so what went wrong? In this special feature, we examine how …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Priority Groups for COVID-19 Vaccination
    The Government have published (Published 18 June 2020) an independent report by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation in which they outline interim advice on which groups should receive COVID-19 vaccination as a priority. This needs to be read as a work in progress, but gives a good …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    The Health Foundation Covid-19 survey
    The Health Foundation commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct a representative poll of the general public in Great Britain to understand opinion on a range of issues. A report has now been published and looks at topics including: • Experience of using NHS services during the pandemic and perceptions as …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Steroid cuts death in ventilated patients by a third
    Low dose dexamethasone reduces deaths in patients hospitalised with covid-19 who need ventilation, according to preliminary results from the RECOVERY trial. The drug was also found to reduce deaths by one fifth in other hospitalised patients receiving oxygen only, but no benefit was seen among …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Human trials of Imperial College COVID-19 vaccine
    Clinical researchers will begin human trials of a new coronavirus vaccine developed by researchers at Imperial College London. Beginning this week (w/c 15 June), the study will be the first time the vaccine has been trialled in humans and will test whether it is well-tolerated and produces an …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    We cannot reduce excess deaths unless we know what’s causing them
    Author: Veena S Raleigh for the BMJ – June 2020 The number of deaths from covid-19 in the UK is among the highest reported internationally, second only to the US.1 This covid-19 related mortality surge comes on the heels of the historical legacy of stalling improvements in life expectancy in …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    R-Number Set To Go Regional – And Become Less Relevant!
    With the UK government set to release R-numbers regionally, somewhat ironically the R-number is becoming less relevant as the Coronavirus outbreak in the UK begins to tail off. The excellent New Scientist website looked into the R-number and its changing role and relevance in the UK: The south west …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Analysis: Is it safe for shielders to go out?
    Here’s an article from the New Scientist website that looks at the complicated issues surrounding the easing of lockdown for people who are vulnerable and shielding. It’s a good counterpoint to government advice and draws on some solid sources. The New Scientist website is an excellent …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Analysis: Social & Health Impacts of Coronavirus
    Here are three contrasting articles from the King’s Fund website, looking at health and social impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic in the UK. Covid-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes: This is a descriptive review of data on disparities in the risk and outcomes from Covid-19. This …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Why so many coronavirus deaths in the UK?
    There’s a good analytical article in the New Scientist website, by Adam Vaughan, that tries to get to the bottom of this question, which we have all asked ourselves at one time or another. Below are a few of the key factors that seem to have influenced the number of deaths in this country. …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    The Lancet – Coronavirus Science & Analysis Online
    The Lancet is a renowned medical journal and as you might expect, it is the source of some excellent analysis of the Coronavirus pandemic. Much of their content is made available online and, if a deeper understanding of the condition is your goal, there’s no better place to look. Here is a …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    COVID-19 – Review of who was/is at most risk
    The Government has published the following review of data on disparities in the risk and outcomes from COVID19. Below is the detailed summary of the review. View Full Report: Disparities in the risk and outcomes from COVID-19 This review presents findings based on surveillance data available to PHE …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Face Coverings – Some of the Background To UK Advice
    This paper provides a bit of background to the science and politics behind face coverings and their use in the UK. The paper was prepared by Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours on the evidence about the behavioural impact of recommending mask use, reflecting the potential for both …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    How To Lower Your Coronavirus Risk in Different Settings
    At work, school and seeing friends: How to lower your coronavirus risk is an excellent new article on the New Scientist website, by Linda Geddes. Here we have some of the key points, though the whole article contains more detail, including workplace advice and is well worth a read. THE coronavirus …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Science: How COVID-19 is Transmitted
    Research compiled by the Environmental and Modelling Group for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and Published on 26 May 2020. This paper looks at transmission through airborne, droplet and contact routes. It considers the evidence relating to time spent in an environment, …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Selected NHS patients to access coronavirus treatment remdesivir
    The anti-viral drug remdesivir will be made available to patients meeting certain clinical criteria to support their recovery in hospital. Innovative medicine with promising results in clinical trials to be made available to selected UK COVID-19 patients Government working in collaboration with …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    New Scientist COVID-19 FAQ
    The New Scientist magazine has compiled a broad COVID-19 FAQ based on questions submitted by its readers – if you want to know the answers to any or all the questions below, visit the New Scientist website (an excellent place to visit anyway!!). Why do people without underlying health …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    New Scientist – What They Are Suggesting Your Read/View About COVID-19
    The New Scientist magazine also has a thriving online presence and it provides a good source of information about Coronavirus that is generally more analytical and scientific. Here’s their latest round-up of recommended articles and other media on the virus. Latest on coronavirus from New …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    SAGE Report – Covid-19: What is needed for the future?
    The Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) – Covid-19: What is needed for the future? This report gives a really good overview of current scientific thinking on how the UK might continue and win the fight against COVID-19. It doesn’t hold back from identifying …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Government begins large scale study of coronavirus immunity
    Government Press Release – Published 17 May 2020 Antibody testing will help to understand levels of immunity and the role of genetics Up to 20,000 people of all ages and walks of life to take part for at least 6 months Up to 20,000 people are being asked to take part in a new …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    SAGE Report – Covid-19: what are the options for the UK?
    The Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) – Covid-19: what are the options for the UK? This report, which we have the “Executive Summary” of below (Report published in full here), gives a really good overview of current scientific thinking on how the UK …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    COVID-19 Science and Policy Newsletter
    Below is a selection of science and policy reports and papers from a range of sources, collated in their latest newsletter by The King’s Fund, an independent charitable organisation working to improve health and care in England. The King’s Fund website is full of useful and informative …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Oxford University’s COVID-19 Vaccine Tests
    University of Oxford researchers have began testing a COVID-19 vaccine in human volunteers in Oxford in late April. Around 1,110 people will take part in the trial, half receiving the vaccine and the other half (the control group) receiving a widely available meningitis vaccine. The article below …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    COVID-19 Deaths Linked to Vitamin D Deficiency
    An article from the website sciencealert.com A vitamin commonly produced by sun-exposed skin cells might play a role in preventing death by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, according to new research. Preliminary results from a yet-to-be-peer-reviewed study carried out by scientists from the Queen …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Testing times: the government’s approach to Covid-19 testing
    Here’s an excellent article looking at the government’s testing for Covid-19 and the underlying strategies and science. The article is by The King’s Fund, an independent charitable organisation working to improve health and care in England. Our vision is that the best possible …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    Large-scale infection & antibody test study begins
    20,000 households in England are being contacted to take part in the first wave of a major new government study to track coronavirus (COVID-19) in the general population. Major long-term study will track spread of COVID-19 in general population Study will include antibody testing to help understand …
  • Coronavirus Science icon
    BBC Inside Science Programme
    Looking to learn more about Coronavirus, but avoid the “news”? This week’s BBC Inside Science programme is an excellent listen, with a wide range of science covered. One of our favourites anyway, this is an outstanding edition https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000glnw For more …