Source: European Commission Spokesperson's Service
Today, the European Commission has decided to create a strategic rescEU stockpile of medical equipment such as ventilators and protective masks to help EU countries in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. President Ursula von der Leyen said: ”With the first ever common European reserve of emergency medical equipment we put EU solidarity into action. It will benefit all our Member States and all our citizens. Helping one another is the only way forward.” Medical equipment part of the stockpile will include items such as: intensive care medical equipment such as ventilators; personal protective equipment such as reusable masks; vaccines and therapeutics and; laboratory supplies. Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, added: "The EU is taking action to get more equipment to Member States. We are setting up a rescEU stockpile to rapidly get the supplies needed to fight the coronavirus. It will be used to support Member States facing shortages of equipment needed to treat infected patients, protect health care workers and help slow the spread of the virus. Our plan is to move ahead without delay.” In addition, under the Joint Procurement Agreement, Member States are in the process of purchasing personal protective equipment, respiratory ventilators and items necessary for coronavirus testing. This coordinated approach gives Member States a strong position when negotiating with the industry on availability and price of medical products. A press release is available online.