Czech health minister urges EU to “be more active” to stop virus spread

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Czech Republic's Health Minister Adam Vojtech, right, speaks with Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza during an extraordinary meeting of EU health ministers in Brussels to discuss the Covid-19 virus outbreak, Friday, March 6, 2020. Fearing a possible shortage in medicine and protective masks, health ministers from the European Union are trying to boost their collective response to the novel coronavirus outbreak during an emergency meeting. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

The Czech Republic’s Health Minister Adam Vojtěch on Friday urged the European Commission “to be more active” when it comes to containing the spread of novel coronavirus.

“In regard to the joint procurement mechanism I think we should really speed up the whole procedure because the lack of protective masks and all the protective equipment and disinfectant is the same and is really concerning,” Vojtěch said as he arrived at a crisis meeting of EU Health Ministers in Brussels.

Asked if there should be more coordination in Europe, he said: “Maybe, it’s about risk assessment. The situation in each country is different and we have our public health authorities and they are responsible for that, and they assess the risks.”

Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said it was “a critical moment in terms of all our efforts to face the challenge of COVID-19” and the commission would be “looking at the preparedness of member states, their needs and looking at the need for solidarity at this moment.”

Source: CNN

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