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What drugs can treat COVID-19? And how does contact tracing work?

26 June 2020

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee continues its inquiry in The Science of COVID-19, examining firstly therapeutics to treat the illness and then the science of contact tracing.

Purpose of session

The Committee will take evidence on the main types of therapeutics considered for treating COVID-19, how antiviral drugs work, which are effective and what treatments are available to boost the immune response.

The session will then continue by asking how contract tracing should operate in order to be effective and looking more closely at what the UK is doing.


Monday 29 June at 3.00pm

Virtual meeting

  • Professor Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford
  • Dr Sir Michael Jacobs, Clinical Director of Infection, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dr Sheuli Porkess, Executive Director, Research, Medical and Innovation, Association of British Pharmaceuticals Industry (ABPI)

At 4.00pm

  • Professor Noel McCarthy, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Warwick; and Honorary Consultant Epidemiologist, PHE
  • Professor Christophe Fraser, Senior Group Leader in Pathogen Dynamics, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford
  • Professor Allyson Pollock, Clinical Professor of Public Health, Newcastle University; and co-Director of the Newcastle University Centre of Excellence in Regulatory Science, Newcastle University

Possible questions

  • What are the main types of therapeutics that could be considered for treatment of COVID-19 (for example antivirals, antibodies, cancer drugs)?
  • What treatments are available that help boost the immune system's response to infection?
  • What types of treatments can be used to treat the damage caused by the disease?
  • What are the key principles behind contact tracing as part of a public health response to an outbreak?
  • How successful has the UK's contact tracing strategy been so far?
  • How important is the development of a contact tracing app for controlling the pandemic in the UK?
  • How does the UK's approach to test and trace compare with strategies in other countries?

Further information