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COVID-19: EU advances efforts to tackle outbreak, pledges €232 million aid

EPA-EFE/SHI ZHI CHINA OUT
A worker waits with disinfectant outside a temporary hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 22 February 2020 (issued 24 February 2020).

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EU’s Health Chief, Stella Kyriakides and Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič announced on Monday that €232 million will be allocated by the European Commission to halt the spread of Coronavirus, amid growing fears of pandemic.
“Our new aid package will support the World Health Organisation (WHO) and target funding to ensure countries with weaker health systems are not left behind. Our goal is to contain the outbreak at a global level,” said Lenarčič.
The EU funds will be distributed to WHO to boost public health emergency preparedness, to Africa to support rapid diagnosis, to Public Private Partnership with the pharmaceutical and research industry and the rest to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to assist with repatriation of EU citizens from Wuhan, China.
With more than 150 confirmed cases of Coronavirus infection in Italy and many of its cities put on lockdown, EU’s Economy Commissioner, Paolo Gentiloni tried to ease fears, saying that “we share concern for possible contagion [but] there is no need to panic,” adding that the EU fully trusts Italian authorities’ decisions.
“In view of the rapidly evolving situation, we stand ready to increase our assistance. In this vein, a joint expert mission of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organisation will depart to Italy this week to support the Italian authorities,” said Kyriakides.
 
 
 
 

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