March 19, 2020, 7 p.m.
COVID-19 and the EU
As we all of know, at the end of December 2019, Chinese public health authorities reported many cases of acute respiratory syndrome in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China. After this announcement, the Chinese scientists identified a new coronavirus. This new coronavirus disease is now referred to as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Covid-19 in Wuhan spread rapidly, affecting other regions of China. But not limited to China, the cases were detected in many other countries like Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa and the America.
An overview to the Covid-19 Precautions Taken by the EU
The COVID-19 outbreak is spreading around the world and research to improve treatment is ongoing. In the scope of this disease, the EU Commission has been taken rapidly action to support to the health sectors and decrease the socio-economic effect in the European Union. Also, the Member States are sharing regularly information regarding their plans of preparedness inform to the Commission.
The EU Commission is coordinating exchanges of information among Member States on preparedness and health measures. And also, they are assessing to the macro-economic effects of the spread of the Covid-19 as well as coordinating border measures and mobility. We can see below the actions of the European Commission for a common European responsibility to the COVID-19 since the outbreak that started in China:
“1) At EU level, under the Cross-border Health Threat Decision, the Commission coordinates with Member States through three key mechanisms:
The Early Warning and Response System
The Health Security Committee
The Health Security Committee's Communicators' network.
These tools support cooperation, rapid exchange of information, swift monitoring and coordination of preparedness and response measures to COVID-19.
2) The Commission, with support from relevant EU agencies, in particular the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), is providing technical guidance related to: risk assessments; case definition for diagnosis and aligned reporting of suspected and confirmed cases; infection prevention and control in health care settings; advice for travellers; updated information on therapeutics and vaccines; contact tracing on aircrafts; management of points of entry and aviation sector recommendations.
Moreover, Member States' Joint Action Healthy Gateways, funded by the EU, is providing guidance and training on points of entry measures, as well as another Joint Action, SHARP (strengthened international health regulations and preparedness in the EU) on laboratory preparedness.
3) The Commission has been coordinating the delivery of assistance to China as well as financing the transport costs of EU Member States' repatriation flights.
4) To boost global preparedness, prevention and containment of the virus, new funding worth €232 million will be allocated to different sectors..”(1)
Due to Covid-19, which continues to spread rapidly around the world, the EU has decided to close its borders for non-member citizens for 30 days as a precaution.