Commission VP Schinas: ‘Planning and vigilance’ key to preventing second wave of coronavirus outbreak

Preventing a potential second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in coming months requires “planning and vigilance,” said European Commission Vice President on Promoting the European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas in a joint presser with European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides held on Wednesday.

“We are preparing on all fronts to support the single currency market, people’s freedoms, and to also facilitate an economic and social recovery throughout the European Union,” he said.

A second wave of extended lockdowns is best avoided, bearing in mind the protection of high-risk and vulnerable groups and the undisrupted continuation of economic and social normalcy, he added.

In this context, Schinas and Commissioner Kyriakides proposed three key strategy points to this effect: the need for EU-wide coordination of preventive measures and actions, pan-European inclusiveness of all vulnerable groups in these measures on top of case-specific safety protocols, and the need to reduce the risks associated with the combination of Covid-19 and seasonal flu next fall; “we need to ensure that health systems are effective and that they take into account this unprecedented coexistence of the novel coronavirus and seasonal flu,” noted Schinas.

He also pointed out that there are localized outbreaks of Covid-19 in various areas across the bloc, “but they are under control with the measures currently in effect in those areas.”

In agreement, Commissioner Kyriakides called on EU member-states to prepare in good time by having the required amount of flu vaccines, to campaign for these vaccines earlier than previous years and also to effectively address the reluctance of a part of the population to vaccinate for the regular flu.