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COVID-19 pandemic has affected every country in the world. Many people who develop a COVID-19 infection have minor symptoms and do well and recover fully. However there are a small number of people who become very ill and may need assistance with breathing and have to be nursed in intensive care. Countries vary in the extent to which health facilities are available but even in highly resourced countries a major concern is whether health services will be able to cope. 

IPWSO Covid survey

Professor Tony Holland and the Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board conducted a study into the effects of the COVID-19 infection on people with PWS. The results were analysed and written up by Dr Joyce Whittington at the University of Cambridge.

The paper was published in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases and is available to read online.

Rights of people with disabilities in the COVID-19 pandemic

The link below sets out the responsibility of all countries to continue to ensure that people with disabilities receive the treatment they need and have access to care and treatment if they become unwell with COVID-19. Translations are available in Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.

The United Nations Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner: Joint Statement: Persons with Disabilities and COVID-19 by the Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, on behalf of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General on Disability and Accessibility.

Guidance on COVID-19 and PWS

General guidance and statements of interest:

Statement from Rare Diseases International on the international response to COVID-19 and the importance of keeping the needs of people with rare diseases high on the agenda.

  • COVID-19 and Rare Diseases: EURORDIS provides very useful on-going information on COVID-19 including a summary of some of the recent scientific developments.
  • Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General on Disability and Accessibility, Joint Statement: Mental Health of Persons with Disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The World Health Organisation has provided a lot of guidance to the public.
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