Coronavirus Fight Needs Redeployment of Active Scientists. 

Coronavirus shuts down many labs but researchers are doing their best to fight back against the viral spread by donating their time, expertise and supplies. 

Coronavirus Fight Needs Redeployment of Active Scientists. 
Coronavirus Fight Needs Redeployment of Active Scientists. 

Coronavirus Fight Needs Redeployment of Active Scientists. 

Coronavirus testing process is a must for the health system to find out if an individual is infected or not. While working combinedly round the clock, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge scientists can test nearly 2,000 people per day. The testing efforts are not sufficient in most parts of the world. Such type of speedy testing effort can alleviate a huge pressure from the health system. The viral spread has forced many labs to shut down indefinitely, a wide number of dedicated scientists are still volunteering and working to fight the situation in any possible way 

Jointly, all of them are banding together, organizing the universities worldwide and collecting volunteers and equipment and sending them where they are needed the most. Michael Monaghan is a molecular ecologist working in the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin. According to him, the experts who are not going to their workplaces still have skills that can be applied. 

As an example, we can mention the Association of American Universities. It is a collection of 65 research universities located in Washington, US. it urged all the members to donate their extra PPE to medical facilities and hospitals in a Twitter message. Surprisingly, many of the members responded to the message.   

Organizing volunteers
Organizing volunteers is a timely action as coronavirus spread is on the rise. Twitter has been a great medium to collect and organize volunteers. A neuroscientist from New York, Nadia Khan provided her service to testing facilities and hospitals. While serving, she met with a former pharmacologist,  Alexandria Trujillo. Then the two started collecting information about the people who want to help from other qualified scientists.   

Trujillo says, “When we made the spreadsheet, I thought we would get maybe 10 people.” 
But they were surprised to see that more than 100 people responded within two days. Now, the two are connecting volunteers and sending them to the institutes that need them the most. They sent their first volunteer shift to Mount Sinai on 24 March. 

As Karin Kosulin stopped her ongoing experiments. She works at the Children’s Cancer Research Institute as a virologist. She left the ongoing experiments because she was already working to make COVID-19 preparations. She is currently coordinating a team to conduct testing in her hospitals. She says, “Everywhere around the world, tests are needed.” 

Pérez-Escudero, Sara Arganda, and Daniel Calovi launched an initiative naming the Crowdfight COVID-19. Escudero is a French biophysicist, while Sara Arganda is a biologist working in Madrid, Spain and Calovi work in Konstanz, Germany. The initiative focuses on centralizing volunteers and matching them with the researchers who need them the most. After one week of their initiative started, the team had gathered 32,000 scientists and many others were interested to provide help to them, Escudero says. 

The range of requests to get help is varied  but the requests for help came from the scientists who are in the frontline to research COVID-19, Escudero confirms. The group has already gained computing time for an epidemiology group, formed a team and gave them the responsibility to complete a literature review for a clinical study.  

More testing
In other places across the world, all the experts are willing to respond to the emergency situation due to COVID-19 spread. The UK government is collecting PCR machines from universities. After that, it will build a massive and centralized facility to screen individuals on a large scale in Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire. Matthias Trost says that there are 40 PCR machines in the university that are not suitable for that place but can be a great tool to test coronavirus. He works as a biochemist at Newcastle University, UK.

He hopes that his 650 volunteers will be able to test full screening within a few weeks.     

David López González says that the countries with middle and low income will face the necessity of more volunteers in the coming times. He works at the National University of Colombia, Bogotá as a biochemist. He says,  “The outcome of the situation strongly depends on the public policies adopted and most of all, willingness and effort from the scientific community.”
He is disheartened because his own experiments got shut because of the viral spread but he is happy to do his own part to fight the pandemic. He says, “All my academic life I have been preparing and studying for a moment like this.”