EU steps up action to contain virus spread

The European Commission has launched an additional set of actions to help limit the spread of the coronavirus, save lives and strengthen the internal market's resilience.

The measures aim to better understand the virus' spread and the effectiveness of the response, ramp up well-targeted testing, bolster contact tracing, improve preparations for vaccination campaigns, and maintain access to essential supplies such as vaccination equipment, while keeping all goods moving in the single market and facilitating safe travel.

This comes ahead of the European Leaders' virtual meeting on 29 October on Covid-19 coordination, following the 15 October European Council. Even though Member States are better prepared and more coordinated than in the early months of the pandemic, citizens, families and communities across Europe continue to face an unprecedented risk to their health and well-being.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “The Covid-19 situation is very serious. We must step up our EU response. Today we are launching additional measures in our fight against the virus; from increasing access to fast testing, and preparing vaccination campaigns to facilitating safe travel when necessary.

“I call on Member States to work closely together. Courageous steps taken now will help save lives and protect livelihoods. No Member State will emerge safely from this pandemic until everyone does.”

Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “The rise in Covid-19 infection rates across Europe is very alarming. Decisive immediate action is needed for Europe to protect lives and livelihoods, to alleviate the pressure on healthcare systems, and to control the spread of the virus. Next month, we will present the first step towards a European Health Union.

“In the meantime, Member States must improve cooperation and data sharing. Our EU surveillance system is only as strong as its weakest link. It is only by showing true European solidarity and working together that we can overcome this crisis. Together we are stronger.”

The Commission's Communication on additional Covid-19 response measures sets out next steps in key areas to reinforce the EU's response to the resurgence in Covid-19 cases:  

•    Improving the flow of information to allow informed decision-making
•    Establishing more effective and rapid testing
•    Making full use of contact tracing and warning apps across borders
•    Effective vaccination
•    Effective communication to citizens
•    Securing essential supplies
•    Facilitating safe travel
•    Green Lanes extension – TradeArabia News Service




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