Peter Liese: in times of crisis different rules must apply / closing of borders justified / important to take care that necessary goods and people who work in crucial areas can still travel / implementation of medical device Regulation should be stopped immediately / big concern about the situation in the UK / Johnson is not taking the issue serious / transition period for the Brexit should immediately be extended

“In times of the corona crisis, different rules must apply. Many the rules that we approved for normal times are of course no longer justified in these difficult times. I very much support that the Commission took this approach when presenting a package of measures today. As an MEP of course I do not like border controls, but health is most important. That is why I think the measures of member states are acceptable. However, member states and the Commission need to take care that crucial goods like pharmaceuticals, medical devices and food can still pass the borders as well as people that work in important areas”, this is the reaction of the spokesperson for health of the biggest political group, Dr. Peter Liese on the COVID-19 guidelines that have been presented by the Commission this morning.

Liese insisted that the implementation of the new medical device Regulation needs to be stopped in some important points. “It is important that medical devices for example ventilation machines are properly working, but some of the measures that have been adopted with the new medical device regulation are over-bureaucratic anyhow. That is why we need to have a flexible implementation now”, says Liese.  

Liese is very much concerned about the situation in the United Kingdom. “Last week the UK had already more fatalities due to the corona virus than many other European countries, including Germany. I am sure that the numbers of cases are much higher than reported (this is true for all the countries, because not every suspicious patient can and will be tested, but this is particularly true for the UK), even though the containment measures in the UK are not comparable with the rest in Europe. Boris Johnson needs to act soon and should also benefit from the expertise of the European institutions like ECDC and EMA. In this crisis, it is also important that we do not waste our time with no-deal scenarios for the end of this year. The transition period needs to be extended immediately. Unfortunately, I am sure that Johnson will reject this proposal today but unfortunately, the situation will worsen so that he hopefully reconsiders his position next week”, says Liese.

Finally, Peter Liese who is also a doctor insisted that two medical information should be communicated much more: “First: it is not necessary to stay at home when you are not in quarantine. The opposite holds true: it is good if you go for a walk, jogging or cycling either alone or with the people you live with. Second, who still smokes should stop immediately. There is a lot of evidence that smoking is one of the big risk factors for one to be affected by corona much more severely or even die. According to the information I have, e-cigarettes are a good alternative for those people that are not able to quit completely. Fatalities in the USA are very unrealistic to happen in Europe because we have already banned the substance which lead to the fatalities years ago”.

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