European Commission urges Member States to prepare for second wave of infections

epa08026182 A photo taken with a fisheye lens shows the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 26 November 2019. President-Elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on 27 November 2019 will present her team of Commissioners-designate and the new Commission's programme to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will then discuss and decide (by simple majority) whether to elect the College of Commissioners or not. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET

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As countries are starting to ease the lockdown measures, experts have expressed fear of a new wave of infections in Summer. The concern is that lower infection rates combined with higher temperatures could lead to complacency among people to respect social distancing and hygiene rules.

Based on studies of previous pandemics, experts say a second wave is likely to occur this time as well.

Stefan de Keersmaecker, a spokesperson for the European Commission, explained that “Member states should prepare for eventual second waves of infections by taking any opportunity to enhance the existing surveillance systems.” De Keersmaecker that authorities and citizens need to remain on alert, and that “this is key to ensure that the citizens understand that new waves can occur, even if an initial wave is successfully managed.”

The EU EU Member States on to lift the restrictions gradually and carefully, taking into account the epidemiological data available.

Some Members of the European Parliament have taken the opportunity provided by the current crisis by calling for the Union to be given more competence on
healthcare in the future.

Jytte Guteland a Socialist MEP argued that “the corona crisis showed cooperation between member states on health policy. I think we need a discussion on having more competence on the EU level to tackle pandemics in the future”.

According to the Dr. Klaus Cichutek, President Paul Ehrlich Institut, a German research organisation, every country should have enough intensive care units ready as well as places in hospitals for those people who suffer from COVID19.
“We have to win time for finding therapies we are doing a lot of scientific work on the side of bio-medicine to decrease the time for vaccine development which is, of course, the public health measure that would help us most in the long run” he said.

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