CADTH is committed to supporting Canada’s health care decision-makers through this challenging and uncertain time.
For evidence, tools, and resources related to COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 Evidence Portal.


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CADTH Weekly COVID-19 Update

Last updated: August 24, 2020
Product Line: New at CADTH
Result type: Report

CADTH is committed to supporting Canada’s health care decision-makers through this challenging and uncertain time.

Our COVID-19 evidence portal contains the latest COVID-19 information from CADTH and other respected organizations. Content is updated daily to reflect the rapidly changing and growing state of the international scientific evidence related to this disease.

The following is a summary of the most recent information posted to our COVID-19 portal.


Webinar: Blood Plasma Therapies For COVID-19 (August 25, 2020)

  • In this webinar, an expert panel will talk about convalescent plasma therapy and other plasma-based therapies being investigated in trials as potential treatments for COVID-19. The CONCOR-1 study, a nationwide clinical trial approved by Health Canada, will also be part of this discussion.
  • Our panel of experts includes Dr. Dana Devine (Canadian Blood Services), Dr. Jeannie Callum (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre), and Heather Logan (CADTH).
  • To participate, please register (there is no cost).


Resumption of Routine Cancer Screening During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidelines

  • CADTH searched the evidence-based guidelines on resuming routine cancer screening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • One evidence-based guideline from the American Gastroenterological Association Institute was identified; however, no evidence-based guidelines that were either broader in scope, or specific to other fields, were identified.

What You Should Know About Dexamethasone for Treating COVID-19

  • This tool provides general information about the drug dexamethasone and its past uses, as well as new evidence for dexamethasone as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
  • The results from the dexamethasone arm of the RECOVERY trial are provided, together with the current Canadian recommendations for its use in treating those with COVID-19.

Lopinavir-Ritonavir for the Treatment and Prevention of COVID-19: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness

  • The HIV medications lopinavir and ritonavir (LPVR), in combination, are currently being investigated as a proposed COVID-19 treatment.
  • The potential mechanism of action of LPVR is that it may disrupt the replication and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) within the body.
  • However, there is uncertainty around the clinical effectiveness of LPVR in patients with COVID-19.
  • CADTH reviewed and summarized the evidence regarding the clinical effectiveness of LPVR for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

CADTH Emerging Health Technology for COVID-19: Favipiravir

  • Favipiravir is an oral antiviral drug that has emerged as a potential treatment or prevention option for COVID-19.
  • An international expert panel issued a weak recommendation for not using favipiravir in patients with non-severe or severe COVID-19 because of low-quality evidence.
  • Favipiravir is not approved in Canada and is not currently accessible outside of clinical trials.
  • The horizon scan that evaluated the efficacy and safety of favipiravir for the treatment of COVID-19 identified two published studies related to the drug.

Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine to Prevent or Treat COVID-19

  • This report reviews the current scientific evidence on the potential benefits and harms of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.
  • A total of four trials were identified — three treatment trials and one prevention trial.
  • The evidence available at this time is limited in both quantity and quality, with some of the studies terminated early due to safety concerns.
  • CADTH will continue to update this report as more evidence becomes available.

Technologies to Address the Negative Effects of Social Isolation on Older Adults Living in Long-Term Care

  • CADTH conducted a limited literature search to identify a list of potential technologies that may be used to address the negative effects of social isolation on older adults living in long-term care.
  • A list of technologies that encourage engagement and communication is identified; these include technologies for robotic companions and pets, physical activities and games, and communication.
  • Where possible, the availability of the technology in Canada is noted.

COVID-19 News

Visit our news page to stay on top of the emerging evidence we are monitoring and updating. Recent topics include:

  • convalescent plasma
  • a Government of Canada announcement on COVID-19 vaccines
  • hydroxychloroquine
  • remdesivir
  • favipiravir
  • sarilumab
  • tocilizumab
  • lopinavir-ritonavir
  • dexamethasone.

CADTH Literature Searching Tools

To help conduct your COVID-19–related literature searches, see our COVID-19 Search Strings and our COVID-19 Grey Literature Resources.

Additional Resources

CADTH is pleased to showcase additional COVID-19 resources from our partner organizations, as well as from the Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial governments’ health jurisdictions:


Canadian ministries and departments of health, publicly funded organizations responsible for health service delivery, and clinical society stakeholders are encouraged to submit a request or contact their CADTH Liaison Officer. We’re here to help.

The CADTH Weekly COVID-19 Update is intended to keep you informed about the latest information posted on the CADTH COVID-19 portal. You’re receiving this update because you’ve subscribed to our CADTH e-alert system.