Every day in Stockholm the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CEPCE) meets and controls the situation of the coronavirus in Europe and in the world. The ultimate goal is to get the Member States to coordinate, find a common definition of the disease and try to find joint solutions. But the truth is that, for now, there is some uncoordination.
Community sources have explained this Thursday that Brussels is in a job scanning the situation, to understand “what things can be learned from its expansion” and analyze whether the Member States and the different agents are ready to face the situation. For example, you look closely the ability of European laboratories to identify cases, and the conclusion is that the laboratories "are fit".
Experts call for any prevention measures to be strengthened and that the EU is still at this time in a “low or moderate” risk of it spreading across the block. For now, the authorities are completely immersed in the "containment phase" of the virus. They bet on traditional measures: pay attention to possible symptoms and take hygiene measures. A source does suggest that passengers who travel from one Member State to another are better informed about the measures they can take to prevent further contagion. But the basis of everything is information.
One of the issues that most closely looks at is the possibility of some European countries closing borders with other EU countries. "We have no indication that Member States want to reintroduce border controls," said one source, explaining that "Viruses do not stop at borders" and that Brussels will continue to focus more on quarantine than on border closures. In addition, it is essential for the EU to protect freedom of movement within the community club.
The source points out that in many cases the risk of contagion is increased if, for example, a person with symptoms at the border of one country with another is returned to the Member State from which it originates, since the virus can “spread further”: “ It is much better to have a clear procedure between Member States to ensure that person is isolated and quarantine. ”
Although lCoordination has always been the key piece in European discourse about the coronavirus, also at the extraordinary meeting of health ministers held a few weeks ago, the truth is that it is not happening as it should. The technicians do not know how to answer the question of what measures each Member State is taking and point out that the situation is very volatile and changing.
For example, CEPCE does not know exactly which countries are conducting controls toilets at entry points, such as airports. In addition, community sources doubt the effectiveness of this practice, since a person who still has no symptoms can be perfectly carrying the virus.
In addition, the European Commission is thinking about launching a public tender for the purchase of necessary material for the Member States, such as masks, but still waiting to know the specific needs of the different European countries.