Novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) is a strain of coronavirus causing COVID-19, first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China towards the end of 2019. Other coronavirus infections include the common cold (HCoV 229E, NL63, OC43 and HKU1), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
As of 29 September 2020, there have been 33 423 469 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the unfortunate milestone of over 1 million deaths globally was reached in this month (ECDC, 2020).
The Americas have the most cases and deaths internationally.
England had the highest excess all-cause mortality rate among 23 European countries in the first 5 months of 2020 compared with 2015–19, followed by Spain and Scotland. England also had the second highest peak of excess all-cause mortality after Spain, and the longest period of excess deaths (Raleigh S, 2020).
It is now clear that COVID-19 will be with us for some time to come, and that services should continue to build on the resilience and teamworking that has been demonstrated throughout the first wave, to continue to provide safe and personalised care to women and families (RCOG et al, September 2020).
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Public Health England, Public Health Scotland. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection and Pregnancy. Version 12. 30 September 2020.
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Medicine. RCOG/RCM Planning for Winter 2020/21: Reducing the Impact of COVID-19 on Maternity Services in the UK. London: RCOG; 30 September 2020.
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Midwives, and The Society and College of Radiographers, in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement. Framework to Assist NHS Trusts to Reintroduce Access for Partners, Visitors and Other Supporters of Pregnant Women in English Maternity Services. London; 8 September 2020.
Zeng L, Xia S, Yuan W, Yan K, Xiao F, Shao J, et al. Research letter. Neonatal early-onset infection with SARS-CoV-2 in 33 neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. JAMA Pediatr; 26 March 2020.