Coordination, tranquility, cooperation. These are the main slogans that the EU Health Ministers wanted to move at their extraordinary meeting this Thursday in Brussels.
Thus, “aware that the epidemiological situation is still evolving, the EU and its member states must continue to act with determination and in a coordinated manner to address the threat posed by COVID-19 and prevent further transmission, to the EU and inside, of the virus 2019-nCoV, cause of said disease “.
In this way, the EU recognizes that the coronavirus “constitutes a threat to public health that can reach a global reach, particularly due to high volumes and the frequency of international travel in a globalized world.”
The EU council has requested the following measures from the Member States “to ensure the protection of public health, taking into account the special attention that must be devoted to all forms of international travel”: that all entry points of the EU have the means to offer the necessary information and guidance to people at greater risk of being carriers of the virus; precise plans and resources to provide adequate care in the healthcare settings for suspected and confirmed carriers of the virus; that information is communicated, throughout the EU, to international travelers arriving or in transit from the affected areas; that guidance and information be given to health personnel and the general population; that hospital staff treating patients have adequate protection; and that the recommendations of the WHO are fulfilled.
Likewise, the Council has also asked the European Commission to take a series of measures: to facilitate the exchange of information and cooperation; to support proposals for coordinated measures for the following possible phases of the outbreak; that existing financing mechanisms be activated to support cooperation between Member States in preparing for and responding to the health threat posed by the coronavirus, in accordance with existing EU programs and activities; to continue examining all available possibilities, especially joint contracting, to facilitate the necessary access to the protective equipment that Member States need; that promotes among the States the harmonization of adequate measures aimed at protecting and saving lives, as well as the consistent and adequate application of standards for non-pharmaceutical countermeasures such as isolation, quarantine and limitation of social contacts; and to assess the consequences that threats to global health such as COVID-19 have on the availability of medicines in the EU and the security of supply chains.