COVID-19 and Seasonal Flu During the Autumn-Winter of 2020/2021 and the Challenges Lying Ahead for Hospitals

Luís Campos, Kamal Mansinho, Paulo Telles de Freitas, Victor Ramos, Constantino Sakellarides


The possibility of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic coexisting with a simultaneous epidemic of influenza and the co-circulation of other seasonal respiratory viruses sets the stage for a perfect storm. Preparing for the Autumn-Winter of 2020/2021 is complex, requiring centralized guidance but local and regional solutions, with strong leadership and a high level of coordination. It is essential to act upstream of hospitals in order to reduce demand on emergency departments, minimizing the risk of transmission that occurs there and the team overload, as well as downstream to ensure capacity for hospitalization and in the hospital itself to optimize resources and organization. The failure of this plan will create unbearable pressure on hospital care. The authors describe the challenges lying ahead for hospitals and the most important measures that should be included in this plan to prepare the Autumn-Winter of 2020/2021 in Portugal.


COVID-19; Emergency Service, Hospital; Influenza, Human; Seasons

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