COVID-19 research funding approved

April 27, 2020

The Research Council chaired by the Secretary for Food & Health today approved $111 million in funding to support the medical schools of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and Chinese University (CUHK) to conduct 26 research studies on COVID-19.


The Food & Health Bureau said the funding was approved under the Health & Medical Research Fund.

It will support research under topics including the development of vaccines and novel antiviral drug candidates, sero-epidemiological studies of the virus in the community, investigation into the properties, characteristics, spread, infection and effective therapeutic interventions of the virus that causes COVID-19, and investigation into Hong Kong's system of early detection, assessment and response to the COVID-19 outbreak.


The research studies will last from 12 to 24 months.


In recognition of the importance of a scientific basis in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chief Executive has pledged strong support for research to enhance the healthcare system's capability in preventing and treating the disease.


Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan said: "Riding on previous research experience and Hong Kong's world-class expertise in medical research, the commissioned research studies on COVID-19 should be able to generate timely scientific knowledge and evidence in battling the pandemic."


As much is still unknown about the spread and diagnostics of COVID-19, the bureau will continue to invite research proposals from other universities in addition to the two medical schools of HKU and CUHK.

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