Table 2

Existing priorities now requiring greater research emphasis and new priorities not in the WHO roadmap or AAS list (all data from participants working in less-resourced countries apart from those priorities asterisked which originated from participants working in higher income countries)

Existing priorities now requiring greater research emphasis
Infection recurrence
Understanding infections and outcomes in vulnerable populations including children, persons living with disabilities, ethnic groups
Relationship between repeated viral exposure and disease severity (in frontline workers)**
The effects of the disease on pregnant women
Effective use of PPE for frontline healthcare workers (emphasis on nurses)
Health systems research and strengthening to mitigate impact of COVID-19 on capacity
Understanding zoonotic leap between human and animals
The impact of redirecting resources and public health interventions towards COVID-19 on other disease burdens
Adherence to and trust in public health interventions such as quarantine and social distancing
Evaluation of public health interventions in varied settings
Public health messaging and addressing myths and mistrust
Engaging relevant stakeholders (including religious leaders) in research to enhance community sensitisation, adherence to public health measures, detection and surveillance
Effective and feasible ways of community engagement during lockdowns and social distancing.
New priorities
Virus natural history, transmission and diagnosticsImproved diagnostic tools for safer sample collection, faster and easier assays
Epidemiological studiesExamine relationships to other lung diseases.
The impact of improved WASH practices on WASH-related infections diseases.
Long-term health impacts and complications of contracting COVID-19—with emphasis on children/those with comorbidities.
Clinical managementClinical guidelines for post-hospitalisation home management and community rehabilitation.
Palliative care for COVID-19 patients.
Vitamin D levels in COVID-19 severity.**
Candidate therapeutics R&DInvestigate the potential role of natural/traditional remedies.
What would the target therapeutic be with our new knowledge.
Evaluate therapeutics in the community in early infection.
Candidate vaccines R&DInnovative vaccine delivery modalities
Ethical considerations for researchEthical considerations for resource allocation to LMICs.
Ethical considerations of recruiting final year medical/nursing students.
Social sciences in the outbreak responseUnderstanding COVID-19 in the contexts of conflict, civil war and refugee situations.
Examine the effects of the pandemic on the participation of the public in democratic processes.
Infection prevention and controlHow to ensure effective social distancing in public spaces and congregate settings post lockdown**
The environmental impact of the response to COVID-19Determine the impact of:
Public Health Interventions on the environment (including air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions)
  • Disinfectants and hand sanitisers on the environment.

  • Large-scale PPE production and disposal.

Preparing for the next pandemicEnsure effective measures including community surveillance and animal screening techniques are in place to rapidly identify emerging zoonotic diseases.
Evaluation of governmental policies and lessons learnt in preparation for the next pandemic.
Cross-cuttingThe use of technology in various aspects of pandemic response.
Assess effective ways of conducting cross-disciplinary research.
  • All data from low-income countries apart from the three priorities marked as ** which are only from participants from high-income countries.

  • LMICs, low-and-middle-income countries; PPE, personal protective equipment.