EU Health Ministers Meet to Discuss Latest Coronavirus Developments
EU Health Ministers held an extraordinary meeting this morning to discuss the latest developments regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
Discussion around the current situation, measures already taken and ensuring supply of medicines and equipment across the EU topped the agenda.
At a press conference following the meeting, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides said that over the course of the meeting discussions had focused on the public health response which she described as ‘our most important response tool.’
Ms. Kyriakides said that it has now become critical that countries across the EU and the rest of the world activate preparedness plans to combat the spread of the Coronavirus.
She said the key message taken from today’s meeting was that now is a time for global solidarity and solidarity within the EU states.
The importance of the public response to the health crisis was also highlighted by Ms. Kyriakides saying, ‘Everybody needs to be on board with this.’
Ministers were joined by officials from the World Health Organisation, the European Centre for Disease Control and the European Medicines Agency.
The spread of the Coronavirus has continued to impact the global economy, as international stock markets fell again today.
As countries scramble to contain the spread of the disease which has reached 90 countries, affecting 100,000 people and killing more than 3,300, business, travel, tourism, education and sporting events continue to be impacted.
World Health officials yesterday criticised some countries for their lack of preparedness to deal with the spread of the virus.
Speaking on Thursday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, ‘We are concerned that some countries have either not taken this seriously enough or have decided there is nothing they can do.
This is not a drill, this is not a time to give up, this is not a time for excuses, this is a time for pulling out all the stops.’
Italy continues to be the worst affected country in Europe, reporting 41 new cases of the Coronavirus in 24 hours. In a statement on Thursday evening, the country’s Civil Protection Agency said, 3,858 people had been infected and 148 had died.
Switzerland and the Netherlands have announced their first known fatalities from the virus while Ireland has announced its first known case of community transmission. Health authorities there have been unable to establish a travel connection or a connection to an already confirmed case of infection, in one of the 13 cases currently reported.
(Image via newsroom.consilium.europa.eu)