The European Union should solely elevate coronavirus restrictions slowly and steadily to keep away from one other wave of infections, the pinnacle of the bloc’s government stated on Thursday (19 November), write John Chalmers and Gabriela Baczynska.
Ursula von der Leyen spoke after the 27 nationwide leaders mentioned stepping up joint testing efforts within the bloc, doling out vaccines and coordinating easing lockdowns as a second wave of the pandemic weighs on Europe.
“Now we have all discovered from the expertise in the summertime that the exit from a wave could be very troublesome and that lifting measures too unexpectedly has had a really unhealthy impression on the epidemiological state of affairs in summer season and fall,” she stated.
“Due to this fact, this time expectations must be managed. We’ll make a proposal for a gradual and coordinated method to lifting containment measures. This might be essential to keep away from the chance of one more wave.”
Europe has had about 11.3 million confirmed COVID-19 circumstances and almost 280,000 folks have died, in response to information from the European Centre for Illness Prevention and Management. The pandemic has additionally thrust the EU into its deepest recession.
“We have to study previous classes and be cautious after we elevate restrictions. It must be gradual and progressive. All of us need to have fun the tip of the 12 months holidays, however safely. Let’s ring within the new 12 months safely,” stated Charles Michel, chairman of the EU leaders’ talks.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo stated the bloc wanted a joint technique for winter journey to keep away from “a 3rd ‘Christmas’ wave”.
Von der Leyen stated her Fee was broadening its search of a vaccine by talks with Moderna and Novavax.
“And we’re engaged on a vaccination marketing campaign to help member states within the communication on the significance of vaccines. It’s self-protection and it’s solidarity,” she added.
Michel stated the variety of folks sceptical of vaccination was rising within the EU and that the bloc would launch a marketing campaign to persuade them to vary their minds. He stated he hoped the bloc would get vaccines in 2021.
“Vaccination priorities are related in most member states, first medical employees, then susceptible individuals,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel informed journalists after the digital EU leaders’ gathering.