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: May 19, 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.

We’ve collected relevant information about COVID-19 from CADTH and other respected organizations, and published it on our CADTH COVID-19 web portal. The information on this site is being updated daily to reflect the rapidly changing and growing state of the international scientific evidence related to COVID-19.

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

WEBINAR: Does the Evidence Support the Hype? COVID-19 and Antiviral Treatments (May 29, 2020)

  • Register to attend the CADTH webinar with guest speaker Dr. Gordon Guyatt, Professor at McMaster University, to hear about the evidence on two specific antiviral treatments that have been widely discussed — hydroxychloroquine (with or without the antibiotic azithromycin) and remdesivir.
  • You’ll also learn about the clinical trials under way on the use of antivirals in preventing and treating COVID-19.

Personal Protective Equipment for Endoscopy or General Surgery in Patients with Respiratory Infections: Guidelines

  • We searched for evidence-based guidelines regarding the use of personal protective equipment during endoscopy or general surgery procedures for patients who may have respiratory infections such as COVID-19.
  • Two evidence-based guidelines were identified, with one specifically providing guidance on surgical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pulse Oximetry Monitoring in Patients at Risk of Hypoxia: An Ultra-Rapid Review of Clinical Utility and Guidelines

  • We conducted an ultra-rapid response report to evaluate the clinical utility of pulse oximetry monitoring (including portable pulse oximetry devices) for patients at risk of hypoxia (oxygen deficiency) due to COVID-19.
  • Our review also searched for any evidence-based guidelines.
  • No evidence specific to COVID-19 was identified; however, four non-randomized studies of patients at risk of hypoxia for other reasons were included in this report. No evidence-based guidelines were identified.

Infrared Temperature Devices for Infectious Disease Screening During Outbreaks: Overview of an ECRI Evidence Assessment

  • We conducted a Focused Critical Appraisal examining the methodology, scientific rigour, and findings of the ECRI Clinical Evidence Assessment on infrared temperature devices for infectious disease screening during outbreaks.
  • Overall, at the time of the review, there was insufficient evidence to suggest that non-contact infrared temperature screening is effective for detecting infected individuals.

Remdesivir: Evidence Review and Appraisal

  • We conducted a Health Technology Review on remdesivir, an antiviral drug currently being used to treat COVID-19.
  • Presently, remdesivir is not approved in Canada and access to it is limited to clinical trials. Four randomized controlled trials were identified (two completed and two ongoing) in the review; however, due to insufficient published evidence, the potential place in therapy of remdesivir is unknown.

Managed Alcohol Programs for Adults With SARS or COVID-19: Safety and Guidelines

  • We searched the evidence on managed alcohol programs for adults with severe acute respiratory syndrome or COVID-19.
  • We also searched for any evidence-based guidelines on these topics; however, no relevant literature and no evidence-based guidelines were identified.
  • Additional resources of potential interest can be found in an appendix to the report.

Additional Resources


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.