Coronavirus: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s new risk assessment shows need to step up coronavirus response in the EU
Today, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published its updated risk assessment regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside a set of guidelines for non-pharmaceutical interventions (such as hand hygiene, physical distancing, cleaning and ventilation). The updated risk assessment shows that notification rates have increased steadily across the EU and the UK since August, and that the measures taken have not always been sufficient to reduce or control exposure. It is therefore crucial that Member States roll out all necessary measures at the first sign of new outbreaks.
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Today’s new risk assessment clearly shows us that we cannot lower our guard. With some Member States experiencing higher numbers of cases than during the peak in March, it is abundantly clear that this crisis is not behind us. We are at a decisive moment, and everyone has to act decisively and use the tools we have. This means that all Member States must be ready to roll out control measures immediately and at the right time, at the very first sign of potential new outbreaks. This might be our last chance to prevent a repeat of last spring.”
Andrea Ammon, Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, said: “We are currently seeing a worrying increase in the number of COVID-19 cases detected in Europe. Until there is a safe and effective vaccine available, rapid identification, testing, and quarantine of high-risk contacts are some of the most effective measures to reduce transmission. It is also everyone’s responsibility to maintain the necessary personal protective measures such as physical distancing, hand hygiene and staying at home when feeling ill. The pandemic is far from over and we must not drop our guard.” A press conference with Commissioner Kyriakides and Director Ammon took place at 11:00 today and can be viewed on EbS.