The Commission is co-financing the delivery of more than 25 tonnes of personal protective equipment to China after the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated.
Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: “We must work on all fronts simultaneously to tackle the outbreak. The latest cases in Europe show that international cooperation is crucial in stopping the spread of the virus and protecting European citizens. The EU and China are working closely together. I want to thank Austria, Czechia, Hungary and Slovenia for mobilising this equipment.”
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “The Commission and the Member States will continue to support and complement the global efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19. Viruses do not know regions, countries, nor continents. While we continue to ensure a high level of preparedness in the EU and support Member States, the protection of health for all will always remain a top priority and we will continue to remain in solidarity with China.”
An Austrian aircraft departed early this morning from Vienna with the protective equipment which includes masks, gloves, protective clothing and disinfectant. This comes in addition to over 30 tonnes of protective equipment mobilised by EU Member States and already delivered to China earlier this month via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
The European Commission is in regular contact with Member States, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organisation on all aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism strengthens cooperation between Member States/Participating States in the field of civil protection, with a view to improving prevention, preparedness and response to disasters.
Through the Mechanism, the European Commission plays a key role in coordinating the response to disasters in Europe and beyond. When the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country, it can request assistance via the Mechanism. Once activated, the Mechanism coordinates assistance made available by its Member States/Participating States through spontaneous offers.