According to the most recent European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reports, an estimated 657.140 people worldwide (as of 30/03/2020), including over 100.758 EU citizens, have been affected by COVID-19. This situation, almost unprecedented in Europe, has pushed healthcare systems to the limit and researchers are now working around the clock. At this time of global health crisis, the DRIVE Project would like to express its solidarity with all the people who are fighting the pandemic, and with our DRIVE Partners who are continuing the influenza surveillance activities along with managing the COVID19 situation.

The DRIVE network consists of 15 research sites in 9 EU countries, many of whom currently find themselves on the frontline of the pandemic. Our partners comprise research institutes, universities, patient organisations, public health institutes, pharmaceutical companies, and SMEs. Most of them are currently substantially dedicated to fight this concerning health crisis, a global health problem where collaboration between stakeholders and countries is vital.

As an IMI health-related project focused on a contagious respiratory illness such as influenza, DRIVE is especially sensitive to this situation and is currently prioritising the safety and work of its Research Collaborators and Associate partners. The DRIVE Steering Committee is currently investigating immediate measures to readapt our working routines, timelines and data sharing, in order to keep the DRIVE Project processing. We are also currently discussing the re-scheduling of DRIVE-related events and activities such as the project’s Annual Forum and the recently released Call for Tenders. More updates on this will be communicated soon on DRIVE’s website

Influenza disease remains the overarching focus of DRIVE, nevertheless, we cannot disregard the current COVID-19 situation. In the following days, DRIVE Will work to tailor the scope of the platform in order to define to which extent, COVID-19 in addition to influenza can be also monitored with our existing infrastructure, thus contributing to a better understanding of both diseases. We welcome you to share any suggestion or contact us for collaboration purposes by sending us an email.

In this critical situation it is everybody responsibility to stand up against the pandemic.