Coronavirus (COVID-19): Evidence Collection

Created on 16 March 2020. Last updated 12 April 2020.

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is leading to a rapidly expanding and evolving literature. Evidence Aid is preparing summaries of relevant research, which are available below in English with links to translations in other languages. A ‘NEW’ flag will appear on each review as it is added and remain for 48-72 hours.

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[toggle title_open=” Clinical characterization and management” title_closed=” Clinical characterization and management”]

Additional steroid treatment for patients with influenza who are critically ill: Uncertain whether beneficial or harmful. Added 16 March 2020.  [AR]  [FR]  [ES]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Antibiotics for community-acquired pneumonia in children. Added 2 April 2020.

Antibiotics for treating pneumonia outside hospital. Added 28 March 2020.

Antibiotics for treating ventilator-associated pneumonia in adult patients. Added 27 March 2020.  [PT]

Asthma patients who are stable have a higher risk of an exacerbation if they stop their low-dose inhaled corticosteroids rather than continuing. Added 7 April 2020.

Atypical antibiotics alone seem no better for mortality and clinical efficacy than typical antibiotics alone in patients with community acquired pneumonia. Added 19 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Buffered solutions did not reduce mortality compared to 0.9% saline for resuscitation in critically ill adults and children. Added 22 March 2020.  [AR]  [FR]  [ES]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Chinese herbs combined with Western medicine in the treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Added 19 March 2020. [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Chinese medicine for the treatment of SARS. Added 31 March 2020.

Chloroquine: pre-clinical evidence is sufficient to justify clinical research into its effects for COVID-19. Added 26 March 2020.  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]

Colloids and crystalloids may have similar effects on mortality when used for fluid replacement in critically ill patients. Added 16 March 2020.  [AR]  [FR]  [ES]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Corticosteroids for children and adults with pneumonia. Added 27 March 2020.  [PT]

Daily sedation interruption versus no daily sedation interruption for adults requiring mechanical ventilation: uncertain effects. Added 5 April 2020.

Drugs for treating acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in critically ill patients. Added 16 March 2020.  [AR]  [FR]  [ES]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Enteral, parenteral nutrition and their combination for adults in the intensive care unit. Added 17 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for patients with acute respiratory failure: Uncertain if it is better or worse than conventional lung support. Added 18 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

High-flow nasal cannulae for respiratory support in adult intensive care patients: insufficient evidence to determine its effects. Added 17 March 2020. [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT] [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

High levels of PEEP are not better than low levels for reducing mortality in adult ICU patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or acute lung injury (ALI). Added 18 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Honey eases acute cough in children. Added 23 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]

Identification of traditional Chinese Medicine syndromes for patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. Added 21 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Immunonutrition with omega-3 fatty acids or antioxidants for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in adults. Added 17 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Increased greenspace exposure has been shown to reduce stress, stroke, hypertension, asthma and heart disease. Added 23 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-trad]

Integration of traditional Chinese medicine with western medicine had some benefits for patients with SARS. Added 2 April 2020.

Interventions for preventing delirium in adults in an intensive care unit. Added 31 March 2020.

Liberal versus conservative fluid therapy in children and adults with sepsis or septic shock. Added 19 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Lopinave/Litonawe (LPV/r) reduced mortality in studies of SARS and MERS: uncertain if it is effective for patients with COVID-19. Added 20 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-trad]  [ZH-simp]

Mechanical ventilation weaning protocols in critically ill adults and children: barriers and facilitators. Added 24 March 2020.  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]

Mechanical ventilation with a lower tidal volume reduces 28-day mortality in adults with acute respiratory distress syndrome or acute lung injury. Added 19 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Medical approaches for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Added 2 April 2020.

Noninvasive mechanical ventilation in high-risk pulmonary infections. Added 26 March 2020.  [ES]  [FR]

Noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation may help wean patients off mechanical ventilation. Added 20 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Oral Ribavirin for treating non-influenza respiratory viral infections. Added 30 March 2020.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications for acute cough in children and adults: uncertain if they are effective. Added 23 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications for acute cough in children and adults with pneumonia: uncertain if they are effective. Added 23 March 2020. [AR] [ES]  [FR]  [PT]

Oxygen supplementation at higher levels for critically ill patients: Uncertain effects but may increase mortality and adverse effects. Added 16 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT] [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Pharmacological interventions for the treatment of delirium in critically ill adults. Added 8 April 2020.

Physical examination tests for detecting difficult airway management in adult patients. Added 24 March 2020.  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]

NEW Physical rehabilitation for patients with critical illness myopathy and neuropathy: effects are uncertain. Added 10 April 2020.

Positioning in bed for critically ill adults. Added 9 April 2020.

Pressure-controlled versus volume-controlled ventilation for acute respiratory failure: uncertain if there is an important difference in outcomes. Added 20 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Prone position during mechanical ventilation in critically ill patients.Added 25 March 2020.  [ES]  [FR]

Recruitment manoeuvres during mechanical ventilation reduce the risk of a critically ill patient dying in the intensive care unit. Added 16 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Ribavarin was beneficial for patients with SARS and MERS: uncertain if it is effective for patients with COVID-19. Added 20 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-trad]  [ZH-simp]

Semi-recumbent position reduces the risk of clinically suspected VAP in patients on mechanical ventilation, compared to a supine position. Added 24 March 2020.  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]

Short-course versus prolonged-course antibiotic therapy for hospital-acquired pneumonia in critically ill adults. Added 22 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Tap water that is safe to drink is unlikely to be harmful if used to cleanse acute wounds in adults or children. Added 23 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]

Vasopressors for hypotensive shock. Added 17 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Vitamin D supplementation protects against some acute respiratory tract infections. Added 23 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]

Weaning protocols reduce the duration of mechanical ventilation in critically ill adults. Added 16 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]


[toggle title_open=” Epidemiology” title_closed=” Epidemiology”]

Online social networks to help track a pandemic. Added 3 April 2020.

NEW Psychological distress in refugee children. Added 11 April 2020.

Smoking and COVID-19. Added 4 April 2020.


[toggle title_open=” Ethical considerations” title_closed=” Ethical considerations”]

Ethical guidance for disaster response. Added 7 April 2020.


[toggle title_open=” Health systems and services” title_closed=” Health systems and services”]

Admission avoidance and early discharge hospital at home might release hospital beds for people with COVID-19. Added 30 March 2020.

Community health workers for COVID-19 prevention and control. Added 1 April 2020.

Community pharmacy interventions for health promotion improve some health-related behaviours and the quality of life of users of community pharmacies. Added 4 April 2020.

Costs of health care for influenza-related episodes in high-income countries. Added 4 April 2020.

NEW Dental recalls: effects of longer intervals between routine check-ups is uncertain. Added 12 April 2020.

Factors associated with the willingness of healthcare workers to work during an influenza public health emergency. Added 26 March 2020.  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]

Hospital surge capacity during epidemics. Added 18 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Healthcare workers’ perceptions of risk and use of coping strategies for emerging respiratory infectious diseases. Added 9 April 2020.

Healthcare workers’ willingness to work during an influenza pandemic. Added 1 April 2020.

Improving psychological outcomes in healthcare employees during an infectious disease outbreak were identified. Added 26 March 2020.  [ES]  [FR]

Interactive training of healthcare providers for managing life‐threatening emergencies in hospital: effects are uncertain. Added 2 April 2020.

Interventions for H1N1 Influenza: cost-effectiveness. Added 4 April 2020.

Nurses as substitutes for doctors in primary care. Added 6 April 2020.

Protocols to help with triage of mechanical ventilation for pediatric patients during a pandemic. Added 31 March 2020.

Telemonitoring for patients with COPD: effects are uncertain. Added 3 April 2020.

Ward closure to control outbreaks of infectious diseases among hospitalized patients in acute care settings: effects are uncertain. Added 8 April 2020.


[toggle title_open=” Infection prevention and control, including health care workers’ protection” title_closed=” Infection prevention and control, including health care workers’ protection”]

Behavioural interventions to promote workers’ use of respiratory protective equipment: no evidence that they have much effect. Added 24 March 2020.  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]

Chlorhexidine bathing for infection control in critical care patients: Uncertain if it is better than soap and water. Added 16 March 2020.  [AR]  [FR]  [ES]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Education interventions to improve healthcare workers’ adherence to Standard Precautions for the control of health care-associated infections. Added 22 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Gloves, gowns and masks for reducing transmission of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the hospital setting: lack of evidence on their specific effects. Added 19 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Hand-hygiene interventions reduce illness due to acute respiratory infections in childcare, school and domestic settings in low- and middle-income countries. Added 6 April 2020.

Infection control strategies for preventing the transmission of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in nursing homes for older people: uncertain if they are effective. Added 23 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-trad]

Interventions to improve compliance with hand hygiene practices. Added 16 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT] [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

N95 respirators and surgical masks for preventing transmission of respiratory infections to healthcare workers. Added 28 March 2020.

Personal protective equipment for protecting healthcare staff from highly infectious diseases. Added 17 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT] [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Physical interventions to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. Added 16 March 2020.  [AR]  [ES]  [FR]  [PT]  [ZH-simp]  [ZH-trad]

Preventing virus transmission during the Middle East Respiratory Coronavirus Virus (MERS-CoV) outbreak. Added 30 March 2020.

Preventing virus transmission among healthcare workers during the Middle East Respiratory Coronavirus Virus (MERS-CoV) outbreak. Added 30 March 2020.

Transportation and transportation hubs and the propagation of respiratory viruses. Added 30 March 2020.


[toggle title_open=” Public health interventions” title_closed=” Public health interventions”]

NEW Acute respiratory infections in crisis-affected populations. Added 11 April 2020.

Effects of household crowding on mental health. Added 5 April 2020.

Effects of household crowding on respiratory infectious diseases. Added 5 April 2020.

Lay health workers in primary and community health care for maternal and child health and the management of infectious diseases. Added 6 April 2020.

Preparedness strategies and interventions against influenza pandemics: cost-effectiveness. Added 9 April 2020.

NEW Prevention and control of communicable diseases at migrant holding centres. Added 11 April 2020.

Psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it in COVID-19. Added 26 March 2020.  [ES]  [FR]

Quarantine alone or in combination with other public health measures might help to control COVID-19. Added 8 April 2020.

Rinse-free hand washing regimes might reduce illness-related absenteeism among preschool and school children. Added 9 April 2020.

NEW Risk factors and risk factor cascades for communicable disease outbreaks in complex humanitarian emergencies. Added 11 April 2020.

NEW Training and deployment of lay refugee and internally displaced persons to provide basic health services in camps. Added 11 April 2020.

Visiting urban green space exposure has been shown to boost the immune system and mental health, and reduce the risks of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Added 26 March 2020.  [ES]  [FR]

NEW Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions and health outcomes in humanitarian crises. Added 10 April 2020.


[toggle title_open=” Research & Development: Therapeutics and Vaccines” title_closed=” Research & Development: Therapeutics and Vaccines”]

Diagnostics, vaccine and therapeutics for COVID-19 (rapid review). Added 2 April 2020.


[toggle title_open=” Social science in the response” title_closed=” Social science in the response”]

Quarantine: factors associated with adherence. Added 5 April 2020.


Acknowledgements: We should like to acknowledge the help and support of the following in this project –

Advisors: Mike Clarke, Phil Davies, Donna Barbisch, Chris del Mar, Olivia Biermann, Ludovic Reveiz, David Tovey, Judith Glynn, Khamis Elessi, Ruth Hunter, Lelia Duley, Sandy Oliver, Karla Soares-Weiser, Luis Gabriel Cuervo, Elie Akl, Ashley Agus.

Lead Researchers: Zbys Fedorowicz and Jiewon Lim.

Library services: Obaro Evuarherhe, Margaret Anderson, Hope Lappen, Dorothy Halfhide, Bethany McGowan, Farhad Shokraneh, Jo Wood, Jane Pothecary, Helen Fulbright, Adam Tocock.

Communications: Sue Wolstenholme, Alexa Phillips, Kristin Carlin.

Summary writers: Rebecca Tafesse Bogale. Helen Nwanosike, Isaiah Rayel, Joseph Mitchell, Raina Klüppelberg,Dimuthu Rathnayake, Yonggang Zhang, Yuxi Li, Huiling Zhang, Lauren Cerruto, Kathleen Dorries, Jim Wood, Carly Sellick, Amanda Borrow, Caroline Freeman, Emma Davies, Saurabh Gupta, Amanda Parry, David Schramm, Catherine Henderson, George Tew, Linda Douglas.

Categorising and tagging: Abi Kirubarajan, Shaun Lee.

Website Support: Kat Timberlake.


This project is funded by the H2H Fund, which is supported by UK aid from the UK government.





This project is supported by Queen’s University, Belfast.





Disclaimer: These summaries have been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. The summaries are not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of these summaries think that the evidence that is presented within them is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.