While countries can ready themselves and their public healthcare systems in times of a pandemic the only actual way to deal with such a large outbreak of viral infection is inevitably in the development of a treatment, which in the case of a novel virus usually involves creating a vaccine or antiviral drug. The German based biopharmaceutical company Curevac made headline early in the pandemic when Donald Trump attempted to purchase the rights to any potential cure the company develops, but the company is hoping to start human trials in June/July 2020. However trials have already begun in China, and some drugs, such as the Japanese anti-influenza drug Avigan, has shown some efficacy in reducing symptoms of the virus.
As of March 2020, 40 vaccine are being developed by companies internationally, with two going as far as clinical trials, and later in the year vaccines were already being trialled in a lab setting. Meanwhile therapeutic drugs have been the target of much debate in the media, with politicians like Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro making bold claims regarding the efficacy of some drug treatments. Trump himself contracted the virus in October 2020 and was treated with a cocktail of therapeutics including monoclonal antibody therapy, Remdesivir, Dexamethasone, supplemental oxygen, Zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and daily aspirin, before quickly returning to work. Whatever the most effective treatment turns out to be, it is clear that the rollout of a vaccine or drug therapy is the only true way to deal with a pandemic.