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Covid-19 Updates

The new coronavirus, now known as Covid-19, was first encountered in November 2019, and has gone on to affect over 730,000 people in over 201 countries around the globe, causing more than 35,000 deaths by 30th March 2020.

The virus can cause pneumonia-like symptoms. Those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer coughs, fever and breathing difficulties. In severe cases there can be organ failure. As this is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are of no use. The antiviral drugs we have against flu will not work. If people are admitted to hospital, they may get support for their lungs and other organs, as well as fluids. Recovery will depend on the strength of their immune system. Many of those who have died were vulnerable because of existing underlying health conditions.

The name Covid-19 was announced on 11 February by the World Health Organization. The director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “We had to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease. Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatising.”(1)

General Tips

For general prevention, the CDC recommends the following preventive measures to increase community resilience and readiness for response to an outbreak:

  • Voluntary home isolation: Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms. At the present time, these symptoms are more likely due to influenza or other respiratory viruses than to COVID-19-related virus.
  • Respiratory etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
  • Hand hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60–95% alcohol.
  • Environmental health action: Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects. (2)


Stay up to date with current information

ECDC: Download today’s data on the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases worldwide (click here)

The downloadable data file is updated daily and contains the latest available public data on COVID-19. Public-use data files allows users to manipulate the data in a format appropriate for their analyses. Users of the European Centre for Disease Protection and Control (ECDC) public-use data files must comply with data use restrictions to ensure that the information will be used solely for statistical analysis or reporting purposes.

Please see other live updates from the organisations below:

World Health Organization

European Stroke Organisation

World Stroke Organization

Resources pages from SAFE member countries 


The Stroke Association UK (information that apply for the UK)

Rehabilitation for stroke patients in Italy

SIMFER – Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, in collaboration with A.L.I.Ce (Italian Stroke Association) Ferrara has activated a teleconsultation service aimed at recently discharged stroke patients and their families who should continue rehabilitation treatments. Click here for more information.

We will be updating the list of resource pages as we get updates from other countries where SAFE has a member stroke support organisation.

The Joint Commission (USA) platform for tools and resources

The Joint Commission created a platform for with a lot of practical tools and resources to support health care professionals on the front lines of this pandemic. They will “continue to update this library with only those resources and guidance that we believe to be particularly useful as we continue to navigate through this pandemic.”
Founded in 1951, as an independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care in the USA. The Joint Commission is governed by a 21-member Board of Commissioners that includes physicians, administrators, nurses, employers, quality experts, a consumer advocate and educators and employs approximately 1,000 people in its surveyor force, at its central office in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, and at an office in Washington, D.C.

Image by Vektor Kunst from Pixabay

(1) Source: The
(2) Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)