Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its disease, COVID-19, have caused unprecedented disruption globally since they were first described in China in December 2019. The OUCRU programme has felt the full force of that disruption, with severe lockdowns and waves of infection experienced repeatedly over the last 24 months in Viet Nam, Indonesia and Nepal. However, alongside the disruption has come opportunity, particularly the opportunity to conduct research that helps us understand the medical and social impact of the pandemic and improve the ways we control and treat the virus.

The entire OUCRU programme should be enormously proud of the way it has responded to the pandemic. The virus has brought us together. We have supported one another through many difficult periods when the virus seemed to threaten every aspect of our life and work, and we have found new ways to communicate and collaborate. The consequent research has been remarkable, not least because its conception and conduct has been in some of the most difficult circumstances any of us have ever experienced. We have addressed almost every important aspect of the pandemic, from its societal impact to viral genomic surveillance and COVID-19 therapy. Our work has fostered new collaborations with respective governments and their institutions that have ensured our research is relevant and impactful. These collaborations will have a lasting effect on OUCRU’s standing and future work within the region.

As we update OUCRU’s COVID-19 response in these pages, much has changed in the last 6 months. The large and devastating waves of the Delta variant have passed, but the Omicron variant is now on the ascendency in Asia. The problems this new variant will cause will be dependent upon the levels of population immunity that it confronts. There are grounds for cautious optimism: Indonesia is well-vaccinated, and Viet Nam has gone from low to very high vaccine coverage in 6 months of extraordinary effort (with >1 million vaccines given a day at times). Nepal seems to have gone through a recent omicron wave with low numbers in hospitals and relatively few deaths. As we usher in the new lunar year of the tiger, we hope that it will be considerably better than the year of the buffalo.

Of course, none of the work described would be possible without our key partners – The Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the National Institute of Hygiene And Epidemiology in Hanoi, Patan Academy of Health Sciences in Nepal, the Eijkman Institute and the University of Indonesia in Indonesia, and the University of Oxford, UK – and without the support from our funders, in particular the Wellcome Trust.

Professor Guy Thwaites
Viet Nam Wellcome Africa Asia Programme
Oxford University Clinical Research Unit
Professor of Infectious Diseases, University of Oxford


Below is a list of Covid-19-related projects carried out from July 2020 – February 2022:

Randomised Controlled Trials

Observational Clinical Studies

Diagnostic & Laboratory Studies

Epidemiology & Modelling Studies

Social Science Studies

Public & Community Engagement

Policy Engagement 

To download PDF versions please click on the link below:

For English: COVID-19 Portfolio (Updated February 2022)
For Vietnamese: Danh mục các dự án về COVID-19 (Cập nhật tháng 2-2022)

A summary of Vietnamese government regulations about COVID-19: MoH covid related documents