About the Coronavirus Task Force
The world is currently facing an unprecedented threat from the novel coronavirus disease (SARS-CoV-2 *1) (COVID-19 *2). According to the WHO and other infectious disease and public health experts, this pandemic will last for two to three years, and a second wave of the epidemic is expected to arrive this fall or winter. This kind of situation comes only once a century and forces us to change the way we live. In light of the situation, we have decided to launch a university-led coronavirus task force. This project began as a discussion among a small group of doctors and researchers. But as more people die every day in Japan and around the world, our group continued to grow. Countless individuals have come together to ask how we can contribute to society through medicine and science. The task force aims to better understand the novel coronavirus disease in specialized teams and to publish objective research and information that contributes to rational prevention and treatment. These teams will comprise those on the front line of ICU care, medical staff from university hospitals, practitioners at the forefront of community healthcare, immunologists, infectious disease experts, and even members of the general public who may not be medical experts but who are sympathetic to our cause. The mission of this task force is as follows.
As of June 15, 2020, the collection of patient samples has already begun at thirty facilities that have received approval from a research ethics committee, with 60 more facilities currently awaiting approval to start their own large-scale sample collection. We continue to welcome the participation of as many medical institutions as possible. Our first specific research goal is to define host factors, in particular genetic factors involved in the exacerbation of COVID-19. Research findings and progress will be shared regularly on the task force’s site. We ask the citizens of Japan for their understanding and support.