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On 11 March 2020, the WHO director declared the rapidly spreading COVID-19 a pandemic.1 The very next day, a group of Italian doctors working in Belgium, sensitised by personal contact with Italian clinicians in the forefront of the pandemic, decided to take action. Concerned about the imminent impact on the hospitals and the complex management of patients with COVID-19, they created a Facebook group in French to share information. It allowed clinicians from Belgium, France and Switzerland to efficiently communicate with each other, and exchange guidelines and research, as well as personal experiences. The group was named ‘Coronavirus/COVID-19 pour les médecins’ which translates from French to ‘Coronavirus/COVID-19 for doctors’.
The wide response among colleagues allowed the group to rapidly grow from a few members to over 4000 clinicians in the first 3 days, eventually reaching over 15 500 doctors at the time of writing. Initially, members were mainly from Belgium, then France and Switzerland; now the group hosts clinicians from 86 countries worldwide. The group has not only crossed borders, when humans could not, but also medical specialties. Doctors from practically every field and level of experience are represented, …
Contributors YF, HG, LDU and RDDS planned and wrote the article. YF, HG, LDU, RDDS, AK and CL contributed in the writing and editing of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.