In a bid to find a new way to treat COVID-19 patients, the leading national center for medicine is turning to a funnyman to bring in donations.

But as Japanese doctors gear up for clinical trials that they hope will give hospitals a new type of treatment for the new coronavirus, some institutes overseas have already moved on to new remedies.

Comedian Yoshiaki Yoza features prominently on the website of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine (NCGM), where he asks COVID-19 survivors, like himself, to donate their blood plasma for a trial that doctors hope will prove to be a life-saver.