Stroke care in Italy at the time of COVID-19: a snapshot in February 2021
WHO Regional Office for Europe has interviewed practitioners and patients affected by cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases to gather their experience on NCD care during the COVID-19 pandemic. This collection of stories sheds light on the challenges and opportunities faced in countries, and documents innovative solutions to overcome them. This document gives a snapshot of stoke care in Italy in February 2021. When the first wave of COVID-19 hit Italy in 2020, hospitals with over 500 beds had to set up COVID-19 units and COVID-19-free areas to admit and quarantine COVID-19-positive patients. Intensive care unit (ICU) beds were dedicated to them and additional ICU beds found. In some places, entire hospitals were assigned to treat only COVID-19 patients. Smaller institutions were often temporarily closed because patients and personnel had acquired COVID-19 in the hospital.