The European Union will hold an extraordinary meeting of health ministers on Thursday (13 February) to assess its preparedness in case Coronavirus hits the bloc in earnest.
According to AFP, the virus, which first emerged at the end of last year, has killed more than 900 people. Some 40,000 people have been infected in China and 350 elsewhere.
An EU source told EURACTIV that Europe should not panic as the incidents are still at low levels, but the EU-27 bloc should be prepared in the event of a large-scale crisis.
Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said on Monday coordination and cooperation need to be our main focus as the Coronavirus outbreak affects more and more countries.
“Now is the time to join forces in order to stop this epidemic. It is crucial that the entire international community focus on preparedness and response efforts to fight coronavirus, keeping international solidarity in mind,” he noted.
ECDC chief: Low risk for coronavirus but EU pandemic prep should be reviewed
The EU agency for infectious diseases control still considers the risk for the novel coronavirus low for Europe. However, its director is calling for a rethink of pandemic preparedness plans to help ensure Europe is equipped to deal with a virus spread scenario such as the current one in China.