COVID-19: WHO to launch platform for collaborative sharing of data

The World Health Organization (WHO) will, in the next few weeks, launch a platform for open, collaborative sharing of knowledge, data and intellectual property on existing and new health tools to combat COVID-19, said Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday.

"At the beginning of the pandemic, President Carlos Alvarado Quesada of Costa Rica asked me to set up a health technology repository for vaccines, medicines, diagnostics and any other tool that may work against COVID-19, WHO has accepted this visionary proposal," Tedros said at a press conference.

There are now over 4.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world, with over 300,000 deaths reported, according to data released by Johns Hopkins University. 

Read more:

All coronavirus information open to every country from beginning: WHO

On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) also briefed the progress of the treatments research. 

A number of treatments for COVID-19 are under clinical trial, but none of those have been approved yet, Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead for the WHO's Health Emergencies Program, said on Friday in a press conference in Geneva.

"There are hundreds of clinical trials that are underway, and the reason we need to wait for the results of these studies is because they are evaluating how these medicines, how these drugs work, in terms of either preventing infection, preventing someone from progressing to severe disease, preventing death and how safe they are; do they have any side effects," the expert said. 

"Right now, WHO has launched the 'Solidarity Trial' which is a clinical trial focusing on some drugs, some therapeutics, to look at whether or not these are safe and effective for COVID-19. There are more than 2,500 patients enrolled in this multi-site clinical trial," said Van Kerkhove. "And it will take some time before we have full answers to which treatments work, but right now we don't have any approved treatments for COVID-19."

(Cover: Small bottles labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe are seen in this illustration, April 10, 2020. /Reuters)

(With input from Xinhua)