E-alert Open Access
Like 0


The cumulative incidence of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases is showing similar trends in European Union/European Economic Area countries and the United Kingdom confirming that, while at a different stage depending on the country, the COVID-19 pandemic is progressing rapidly in all countries. Based on the experience from Italy, countries, hospitals and intensive care units should increase their preparedness for a surge of patients with COVID-19 who will require healthcare, and in particular intensive care.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: increased transmission in the EU/EEA and the UK – sixth update, 12 March 2020. ECDC: Stockholm; 2020. Available from: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/RRA-sixth-update-Outbreak-of-novel-coronavirus-disease-2019-COVID-19.pdf
  2. Bernard Stoecklin S, Rolland P, Silue Y, Mailles A, Campese C, Simondon A, et al. , Investigation Team. First cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in France: surveillance, investigations and control measures, January 2020. Euro Surveill. 2020;25(6):2000094.  https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.6.2000094  PMID: 32070465 
  3. WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020. World Health Organization: Geneva; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---11-march-2020
  4. Spiteri G, Fielding J, Diercke M, Campese C, Enouf V, Gaymard A, et al. First cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the WHO European Region, 24 January to 21 February 2020. Euro Surveill. 2020;25(9):2000178.  https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.9.2000178  PMID: 32156327 
  5. World Health Organization (WHO). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) technical guidance: Surveillance and case definitions. Geneva: WHO; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/surveillance-and-case-definitions
  6. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Situation update as of 15 March 2020 08:00. Distribution of COVID-19 cases worldwide, as of 15 March 2020. [Accessed 15 Mar 2020]. Available from: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases
  7. European Society of Intensive Care Medicine. Shared experience & guidance from our colleagues in Northern Italy. 5 March 2020. [Accessed 9 March 2020]. Available from: https://www.esicm.org/covid-19-update-from-our-colleagues-in-northern-italy/
  8. Baldi C. Allarme dei sanitari Lombardi: “Le nostre strutture sottoposte aa pressione superior a ogni possibilità di riposte” [Alarm from healthcare professionals in Lombardy: “Our structures are under a pressure which is superior to any possibility of response”]. La Stampa, 8 March 2020. Italian. [Accessed 9 Mar 2020]. Available from: https://www.lastampa.it/topnews/primo-piano/2020/03/08/news/allarme-dei-sanitari-lombardi-le-nostre-strutture-sottoposte-a-pressione-superiore-a-ogni-possibilita-di-risposta-1.38566390
  9. Bocci M. Coronavirus, l'anestesita Petrini: “Oggi la scelta di chi curare richiede regole certe” [Coronavirus, the anaestesiologist Petrini: “Today the choice of whom to cure requires clear recommendations“]. La Repubblica, 8 March 2020. Italian. [Accessed 9 March 2020]. Available from: https://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2020/03/08/news/petrini_oggi_la_scelta_di_chi_curare_richiede_regole_certe_-250594687/
  10. Chi. Bal. Una tenda davanti all’ingresso. Cremona, ospedale al collasso: “Non c’è spazio per i pazienti” [A tent in front of the entrance. Cremona, hospital facing collapse: “We do not have room for the patients”]. La Stampa, 8 March 2020. Italian. [Accessed 9 Mar 2020]. Available from: https://www.lastampa.it/cronaca/2020/02/28/news/una-tenda-davanti-all-ingresso-cremona-ospedale-al-collasso-non-c-e-spazio-per-i-pazienti-1.38525490
  11. Imarisio M. Coronavirus, il medico di Bergamo: «Negli ospedali siamocome in guerra. A tutti dico: state a casa» [Coronavirus, a doctor from Bergamo: «In the hospitals we are like in a war scene. I am telling everyone: stay home»]. Corriere della Serra, 8 March 2020. Italian. [Accessed 9 Mar 2020]. Available from: https://www.corriere.it/cronache/20_marzo_09/coronavirus-scegliamo-chi-curare-chi-no-come-ogni-guerra-196f7d34-617d-11ea-8f33-90c941af0f23_preview.shtml?reason=unauthenticated&cat=1&cid=sTfRVocj&pids=FR&credits=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.corriere.it%2Fcronache%2F20_marzo_09%2Fcoronavirus-scegliamo-chi-curare-chi-no-come-ogni-guerra-196f7d34-617d-11ea-8f33-90c941af0f23.shtml
  12. Jozsef E. Coronavirus en Lombardie : «Dans mon hôpital, il y a environ un ou deux décès par jour». [Coronavirus in Lombardy: “In my hospital there are around one to two deaths per day”]. Libération. 2020;8. French. [Accessed 9 Mar 2020]. Available from: https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2020/03/08/dans-mon-hopital-il-y-a-environ-un-ou-deux-deces-par-jour_1781020
  13. Horowitz J. Italy’s Health Care System Groans Under Coronavirus — a Warning to the World. The New York Times, 12 March 2020. [Accessed 15 March 2020]. Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/12/world/europe/12italy-coronavirus-health-care.html
  14. Rhodes A, Ferdinande P, Flaatten H, Guidet B, Metnitz PG, Moreno RP. The variability of critical care bed numbers in Europe. Intensive Care Med. 2012;38(10):1647-53.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00134-012-2627-8  PMID: 22777516 

Data & Media loading...

Supplementary data

Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error