WORLD EU offers help to China with novel coronavirus management

WORLD

EU offers help to China with novel coronavirus management

By Bo Leung in London | chinadaily.com.cn

09:46, January 30, 2020

[Photo/Agencies]

The European Union Commission said assistance to China will be provided to help tackle the novel coronavirus if the country requests it.

During a news conference on Wednesday, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic said the EU can deploy emergency medical teams or provide protective equipment to China where the death toll has risen to 132, with confirmed infections around 6,000.

EU authorities are also in talks with member states to fly EU citizens back home from Wuhan, the center of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

On Tuesday, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated following a request for assistance from France to provide consular support to EU citizens in Wuhan.

Following this the EU's Emergency Response Coordination Centre will be meeting with member states "in order to ensure that all of them have the same information and can make their needs known".

Lenarcic pointed out that the EU Civil Protection Mechanism can also be deployed outside of Europe and that's why they are in contact with Chinese authorities.

"Should assistance be requested by China, via our Civil Protection Mechanism, we can facilitate either the deployment of our Emergency Medical Teams or provide personal protective equipment stock," Lenarcic said.

"We are monitoring the global situation comprehensively in order to be able to cooperate with China and others in the most optimal way. In fact, our Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in contact with Chinese authorities who are interested in purchasing certain medical equipment," he added.

EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said the spread of the novel coronavirus is a complex situation which is evolving constantly, but they are ready to work with member states to provide the assistance and support, and ensure effective prevention.

"Should the situation deteriorate, we have additional measures which could be taken in addition to those already ongoing, including mobilizing emergency funding to support outbreak response," Kyriakides said.

"We are much more prepared from all sides from public health to science. Full EU expertise and support is also provided to any third country if requested."

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