G7 nations, EU introduce measures to control COVID-19 pandemic

By AT editor - 16 March 2020 at 8:00 pm
G7 nations, EU introduce measures to control COVID-19 pandemic

The G7 nations completed a conference call on Monday to discuss the global health and economic risk caused by the coronavirus pandemic, as the European Union issued its set of proposals to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Some of the G7 nations are now among the hardest-hit on the planet, including Italy and Japan, and increasingly France, the United Kingdom and the United States. The group also includes Canada and Germany.

“We are committed to doing whatever is necessary to ensure a strong global response through closer cooperation,” the G7 nations said in a statement following the call. “Current challenges related to the global COVID-19 pandemic need a strongly coordinated international approach.”

Their efforts will focus on research and data sharing, support for jobs, global trade and investment, and coordination on public health measures to reduce the coronavirus risk. The G7 nations also committed to “efforts to increase the availability of medical equipment where it is most needed,” which has been a pressing concern so far for Italy with more than 28,000 cases and 2,100 fatalities.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said new guidelines for EU nations include no nonessential travel for the next 30 days to the EU with possible extensions. There are exemptions for critically needed medical professionals and science experts, and diplomats, among others.

She also announced a two-lane strategy to fast track critical supplies, such as food and medicine.

“Our health care system is under huge pressure,” von der Leyen said. “Therefore member states have taken strong measures to slow down the spread of the virus. These measures are effective only when coordinated.”

The European guidelines for border control are available here.

Image: Ursula von der Leyen

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