EU unveils plan to counter second Covid-19 wave

Sallie Anderson

The European Commission revealed on Wednesday (15 July) a set of guidelines to enhance the EU’s reaction to a capacity future rise of coronavirus infections – contacting member states to lower the danger of a synchronised seasonal-flu and Covid-19 break outs in the fall.

“The virus is still with us, but Europe is now much more prepared,” stated commission’s vice president, Margaritis Schinas, referring to the brand-new, localised, break outs appearing throughout Europe.

“Drawing on the lessons of the past months we are planning to avoid improvisation, reinforcing our preparedness on all fronts and facilitating the path towards economic and social recovery across the EU,” Schinas added.

Among the main concerns in the plan is to address threats connected to the seasonal influenza because “simultaneous outbreaks of seasonal influenza and Covid-19 would place a considerable strain on health systems”.

In the most current 2018-2019 duration, seasonal influenza was accountable for 40,000 deaths in theEU


Hence the commission advised member states to launch earlier and larger vaccination projects versus the influenza – beginning immunizing people this month, rather of waiting up until October, when most EU countries start immunisation.

‘ Vaccine hesitancy’?

To do so, health commissioner Stella Kyriakides contacted member states to battle people’s growing scepticism about vaccinations – what she referred to as “vaccine hesitancy”.

In addition, the commission contacted member states to interact their requirements for medical materials, national production capabilities, and stockpiles of individual protective equipment, medications and medical gadgets – in order to prevent lacks.

In spite of the suggestions released by the commission, some member states took unilateral steps at the start of the coronavirus break out – consisting of export restrictions on medical materials or the closure of borders.

Now there are still echoes of that confusion, because some members states are not following the suggestions concurred by ambassadors previously this year on opening borders for non-EU visitors.

Nevertheless, commissioner Kyriakides firmly insisted that “communication and coordination are indispensable to prevent generalised outbreaks”.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that we are fully prepared. Now is not the time to let our guard down,” she likewise stated.

Additionally, the EU executive likewise contacted member states to increase their screening and contact-tracing capability to map clusters and prevent across the country lockdowns.

“Early detection of cases and rapid response to prevent further spread are currently our best shot to avoid having to reinstate large-scale restrictions such as lockdowns,” checks out the standards.

On Wednesday, the EU likewise made suggestions to make mobile tracing and warning apps interoperable throughout national borders in the EU.

However up until now, just 10 member states have such applications in location.

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