In Decem­ber 2019, a nov­el coronavir­us, entitled as Severe Acute Res­pir­at­ory Syn­drome Coronavir­us 2 (SARS-CoV­‑2), emerged in Wuhan, China and spread rap­idly world­wide. SARS-CoV­‑2 causes res­pir­at­ory ill­ness and can spread from per­son to per­son. SARS-CoV­‑2 was declared as a pub­lic health emer­gency of inter­na­tion­al con­cern by the end of Janu­ary 2020. On 8 March 2020, SARS-CoV­‑2 is affect­ing 111 coun­tries and ter­rit­or­ies with 111,817 con­firmed cases world­wide, includ­ing 3,893 fatal­it­ies. In the European Uni­on (EU) (includ­ing the Mem­ber states of the European Eco­nom­ic Area (EEA) and the United King­dom), 9,161 cases, includ­ing 251 fatal­it­ies have been repor­ted in 27 coun­tries, with daily rising numbers.

The WHO aggreg­ated pre­lim­in­ary know­ledge about the out­break, trans­mis­sion dynam­ics and clin­ic­al symp­toms in a recent report but stresses the neces­sity for more in-depth research. Import­antly, many know­ledge gaps remain regard­ing best pos­sible clin­ic­al man­age­ment of patients with the infec­tion as well as pre­dic­tion and pre­ven­tion of severe outcomes.

In order to record con­firmed European SARS-CoV­‑2 cases uni­formly and to estab­lish an evid­ence base for best prac­tice in clin­ic­al man­age­ment, ana­lyses of a com­pre­hens­ive SARS-CoV­‑2 cohort is required and man­dated by the SARS-CoV­‑2 Emer­ging Infec­tions Task Force (EITaF) of the European Soci­ety of Clin­ic­al Micro­bi­o­logy and Infec­tious Dis­eases (ESCMID) and the Ger­man Soci­ety of Infec­tious Diseases.

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