COVID-19: EU scrambles to help contain impact
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Like many other countries outside the EU, the risk of the healthcare system capacity in Member States being exceeded in the coming weeks is extremely high. Learning from the highly impacted countries such as China and Italy, where hospitals are full to the brim with patients, Member States are working to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus, including on the health system, by means of introducing effective infection preventive measures.
Member States for instance are working on lessening community transmission as much as possible, such as introducing social distancing measures. This is being done through the closure of educational institutions and schools, the closure of shops and calls for citizens to stay home as much as possible.
Another measure in this strategic approach is that of isolating those persons who end up infected.
However, the effects of this pandemic are far much wider. Businesses and the economy as a whole for instance are forecast to lose as a result of this pandemic. The European Commission has vowed to use all the instruments at its disposal to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic:
– To ensure the necessary supplies to our health systems by preserving the integrity of the Single Market and of production and distribution of value chains;
– To support people so that income and jobs are not affected disproportionally and to avoid permanent effect of this crisis;
– To support firms and ensure that the liquidity of our financial sector can continue to support the economy;
– And to allow Member States to act decisively in a coordinated way, through using the full flexibility of our State Aid and Stability and Growth Pact Frameworks.
The Commission has issued a number of guidelines and measures, here’s a few: Passenger rights Border measures Health-related measures The Commission also released a Communication on the economic aspects of the Covid-19 crisis. Factsheet: EU Coronavirus Response