The EU Commission has warned the member states against slackening in the fight against the corona virus. The agency released a message on Wednesday to prepare the EU for “future Covid 19 outbreaks”. Among other things, it recommends an expansion of the corona tests and contact tracking for infections. Brussels also urged Member States to take advantage of the ability to collect protective clothing and medicines, and to protect vulnerable groups such as the elderly.
“Now is not the time to relax our vigilance,” said EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. “The virus is still circulating.” “Strong and common action” is needed to prevent further major outbreaks and to protect Europe’s citizens.
The EU has hardly any competences in the health sector. The Commission therefore calls for better coordination, information policy and cooperation between the Member States. In view of fears of a second wave of corona in the fall, she also recommends that EU governments expand vaccinations against normal flu “to avoid additional pressure on the already stressed health systems”.
The EU wants to “learn the lessons from the past few months,” said Vice-President Margaritis Schinas. Thorough planning must prevent improvisation in the future. The goal must be “to strengthen pension provision on all fronts”. It is also about “preserving the internal market and its main freedoms and paving the way for economic and social recovery”.
The London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) released a detailed account of the chaotic response of the EU and its member states in the first weeks of the pandemic on Wednesday. Among other things, it states that insufficient protective clothing was available or that governments prohibited their export to other EU countries. A coordinated approach was also lacking in the case of border closures due to the spread of viruses.
mt / cp
Video: Covid-19: Governments in Europe tighten measures (Euronews)