Short epidemiological overview of the current situation on COVID-19 pandemic in Southeast European (SEE) countries
Keywords:COVID-19, pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, Southeast European (SEE) countries, healthcare workers
We are living in times where a viral disease has brought normal life in much of the world to a halt. The novel coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) started in December 2019 in Wuhan, China initially and in a short time crossed the European borders. After mitigating the epidemic in China, Italy became one of the most COVID-19 affected countries worldwide. International travelers are important sources of infectious diseases and a possible source of epidemic. Due to its political, geographic, and cultural similarities, Italy is one of the main economic partners of Southeast European (SEE) countries. Our data show that infection in index cases in all 11 SEE countries was travel-related with Italy being a source country for 8/11 countries. After the first case identifications on February 25, the number of cases in SEE countries is continually rising reaching the total number of 15,612 with 565 fatal cases and overall case fatality ratio (CFR) of 3.6 (median 3.8, range 0.8–5.5) by April 10, 2020. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is approaching its peak, apart from the problems with treatment of the disease and care for critically ill patients, there are other equally important problems, such as organization of outbreak response, provision of health care, lack of hospital personnel, disruption of personal protective equipment supply chains and health care workers (HCWs) protection. But what is more important is the heroic behavior of the HCWs who are showing their humanity by disregarding their lives.
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