The European Commission revealed on Wednesday (1 April) brand-new “control material” that will permit labs to inspect the appropriate performance of coronavirus screening packages and prevent false negatives, after a series of reports about faulty quick tests from China.
“Quick and reliable laboratory testing is fundamental to our strategy against coronavirus,” stated the commissioner for health, Stella Kyriakides, who thinks that this will be necessary when social distancing steps are raised.
EU countries have actually reported shortages of ventilators, individual protective equipment and screening packages – particularly in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and France where there are extremely high coronavirus patient loads needing extensive care.
Nevertheless, a number of stories have actually emerged exposing that some member states have actually been victims of scams when attempting to increase their accessibility of anti-virus equipment, such as masks or tests.
While the Netherlands just recently found that 600,000 deal with masks imported from China were malfunctioning, Belgian media reported on Tuesday that 100,000 masks originating from Colombia were worthless and even include “animal faeces”.
In Addition, Germany has actually lost almost 6 million masks at an airport in Kenya, according to Der Spiegel publication.
And, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Spain have actually returned countless faulty quick screening packages they had actually bought from Chinese business.
As a result, some countries have actually raised major doubts about the quality of items imported from China – while the EU’s anti-fraud office Olaf is examining the sale of phony medical, individual defense, and health items.
Nevertheless, the Chinese foreign ministry, Hua Chunying, reacted to these claims stating that “a large number of Chinese manufacturers are working around the clock to help other countries save lives”.
” In reality, when we first started fighting Covid-19 at home [in China], a few of the help China got was malfunctioning, however we picked to think and regard the kind intentions of these countries,” she added.
EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell thinks that the coronavirus crisis has a geopolitical element, which has actually triggered both a “global battle of narratives” and a “politics of generosity”.
“China is aggressively pushing the message that, unlike the US, it is a responsible and reliable partner,” Borrell stated in a declaration.
On The Other Hand, the United States president Donald Trump firmly insisted previously today that domestic production of ventilators will surpass United States need, making it possible to send out the excess to hard-hit European countries.
Increasing European supplies
Although some countries obstructed exports of medical equipment at the start of the crisis, the EU Commission has actually released 4 various joint public procurements with 25 member specifies to deal with shortages.
The joint procurement covers masks, gloves, safety glasses, face-shields, surgical overalls, screening packages, lab equipment along with medical ventilators and breathing equipment.
Nevertheless, the commission simply has a collaborating role, while member states purchase the products and sign the agreements with the bidders.
The commissioner for the internal market, Thierry Breton, stated likewise on Wednesday that public- sector purchasers are under “immense pressure” in the present emergency situation to ensure the accessibility of individual protective equipment and prompted member states to make use of the versatilities of EU law.
“The current coronavirus crisis presents an extreme and unforeseeable urgency – precisely for such a situation our European rules enable public buyers to buy within a matter of days, even hours, if necessary,” headded
On the other hand, standards for makes have actually been put in location, particularly to increase the production of individual protective equipment, hand cleaners and disinfectants and 3D-printed medical items.
In Addition, MEPs from the internal market committee on Thursday (2 April) are anticipated to go over with commissioner Breton the efficiency of the joint procurement and other steps taken by the commission, along with malpractices in e-commerce and using telecom information in the battle versus coronavirus.