EPP group adopts resolution on Coronavirus outbreak / Support for more staff and more competences of the ECDC / Best possible cooperation to develop therapy and vaccine

The biggest political group in the European Parliament (EPP – Christian Democrats) urgently demands more cooperation in the fight against the Coronavirus crisis. "The virus does not respect borders, that is why our response should be much more European", MEP Peter Liese, EPP health spokesperson said. The group agreed on a resolution, even though the Parliament is not having any vote this week, because many members, especially from Italy and members that are at risk to have severe consequences in case of an infection cannot be present in Brussels. "We want to send a clear signal to the public, but also to our friends in the European Commission and in the member states", Liese said. The EPP group expresses its solidarity to all patients and relatives of people that have died and acknowledges respect to the medical staff that does its best to fight against the Covid-19 epidemic.

The group expresses support for a strategy aiming at containing the epidemic as much as possible in order to gain time and to avoid unbearable stress to the healthcare system and to enable scientists to develop a vaccine and, if possible, a therapy. "Unfortunately it is not possible to avoid the spread of the virus completely, but we have to do whatever is possible to avoid a situation with hundreds of deaths during a few days that we have in Italy, in other member states. Italy needs our solidarity and concrete help in this challenging situation", said Peter Liese. The Group asks for a coordinated action, so that medical staff can be sent to the regions most in need and, where necessary, patients particularly struggling for their life can be treated abroad when the domestic capacities are exhausted.

The EPP group supports the idea of the German health Minister Jens Spahn to immediately increase the staff of the ECDC and to give more competences to the EU Agency. Special attention should be given to vulnerable people. Commission and member states should do all the necessary efforts to overcome the shortages of protection equipment and avoid shortage of test kits. They ask for strong support for research and development, on vaccine and possible treatment. “It is difficult to treat a virus with pharmaceuticals, but in some cases, it has already worked. The scientists that try to save patients’ lives also with this approach should be supported and the results need to be evaluated at the European level so that the best possible treatment comes to every patient all over the Union”, says Liese.