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Parliamentary questions
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20 March 2020
E-001738/2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Lídia Pereira, Paulo Rangel, José Manuel Fernandes, Maria da Graça Carvalho, Álvaro Amaro, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar
 Subject: Aid for buying coronavirus test kits

On 10 March 2020, the Commission announced that it was launching a joint procurement process for drugs, medical equipment, personal protective equipment and test kits to counter the coronavirus pandemic. In late March, it was announced that a new joint procurement package had been put together and that, with a view to tackling the shortages that many Member States were facing, a joint strategic stockpile would be established within the framework of rescEU.

Experts studying Covid-19 chains of transmission have found that some two thirds of patients with confirmed cases have picked the virus up from symptomless carriers. These findings are in line with conclusions from China and South Korea and make it clear that we must step up screening.

Contrary to information from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that, to contain the spread of the virus and as a complement to quarantine and similar measures, screening should be extended. However, test stocks are limited in the majority of Member States.

In view of the above:

1. Does the Commission intend to follow the ECDC’s advice or the WHO’s?

2. If it plans to follow the WHO's advice, to ensure that the Member States always have adequate supplies, is the Commission considering launching a procurement procedure specifically for test kits?

Original language of question: PT
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