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Parliamentary questions
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19 June 2020
 E-000353/2020 E-000416/2020
Joint answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question references: E-000353/2020, E-000416/2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on 11 March 2020 made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic(1).

The Commission is working with Member States and international partners, including the WHO, on all fronts to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak . The first priority is to guarantee the health and safety of everyone: protecting people from the spread of the virus, supporting the health systems and health workers while maintaining the flow of goods(2), mitigating the effects on the economy(3) and helping people get back to their homes.

Decisions are guided by scientific evidence. A new advisory panel of specialists has been created specifically on COVID-19, working with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Medicines Agency to guide the Commission. The Commission is also funding research on potential COVID-19 vaccine and treatments(4).

The Commission is also in contact with the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry to ensure that medicines, equipment and testing kits are available to the Member States who need them. Together with many Member States, the Commission has launched joint procurement tenders for essential medical and protective equipment and has created the first ever rescEU stockpile(5).

The Commission has set up a COVID-19 website(6) to keep everyone updated about the evolution of the disease in the EU and informed of the comprehensive response by the Commission.

(1)https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---11-march-2020
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_468
(3)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_459
(4)https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/health/coronavirus-response/research-and-innovation_en
(5)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_476
(6)https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/health/coronavirus-response_en
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