Members of European Parliament on Wednesday called for a common approach in limiting the spread of COVID-19 across the European Union (EU), the European Parliament said in a press release.
Highlighting the need to replace the tendency that many EU members designate other EU countries as red zones and then close borders, the MEPs also deplored the non-existence of common modality for counting infections or testing as each country follows the recommendations of its own experts.
The need for EU-level coordination was underlined when the Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety held a debate with Andrea Ammon, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), after she briefed them about the latest situation of the pandemic and the ECDC’s work.
Ammon agreed that harmonizing testing procedures and frequency is key to achieving better and more comparable data on infection levels in Europe, as the current testing range from 173 to 6,000 per 100,000 inhabitants per week, which has a direct impact on the notification rate.
As head of the EU agency monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and issuing risk assessments, Ammon welcomed talks to expand the ECDC’s mandate to issue recommendations, “which currently is only the competence of member states,” according to the press release.
She noted that the upsurge of COVID-19 cases at EU level reached 46 infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week in the last five weeks.