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13-02-2020 16:04

Health Minister: With coordinated actions and activation of mechanisms, coronavirus epidemic can be tackled

Participation of the Minister of Health, Mr Constantinos Ioannou, to the extraordinary meeting of the EU Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (Health)

Cyprus implements the strictest protocols as indicated by the World Health Organization, while in some cases it adopts additional measures to tackle the coronavirus epidemic, the Minister of Health, Mr Constantinos Ioannou, stated today from Brussels, where he participated to the deliberations of the extraordinary meeting of the EU Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (Helath).

In his statement after the Council, the Minister of Health welcomed the initiative to convene an extraordinary Council, during which the EU Health Ministers had the opportunity to exchange views and decide on measures for better coordination to respond more effectively to the epidemic. “We fully welcome and agree with the Conclusions of the Council and in particular with the need to strengthen cooperation and coordination among the member states, the Commission and the World Health Organization”, Minister Ioannou said.

“We are very pleased to have been informed that support mechanisms have been activated to further help in coordinating to tackle the epidemic more effectively”, he added.

Also, Cyprus Health Minister stressed the need to better take coordinated measures as regards the protection of public health, in the context of the recommendations of the World Health Organization. “I was pleased to say that in Cyprus, we have been implementing the strictest WHO protocols, while in some cases we have adopted additional actions not provided for in the protocols, and I have received positive feedback from my colleagues”, he added.

In general, Mr Ioannou said, “the impression is that there should be no panic, but with coordinated actions and activation of the EU mechanisms, this epidemic can be tackled”.

Furthermore, in his intervention during the deliberations of the Council, Mr Ioannou stressed the need to implement the EU mechanisms for the joint supply of vaccines, anti-virals, medical equipment, as well as all other items necessary to respond to such cross-border threats. This measure is also a means of ensuring that all EU member states have equal access to the necessary treatments and improve their purchasing power.

In order to ensure the continuous supply of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment to the markets, it is essential to first identify items likely to be deficient and considered vital based on scientific assessment, the Health Minister noted. The aim is to develop joint targeted actions through the various EU mechanisms for the joint supply of medicines and medical equipment in sufficient quantities to meet the needs, he said.

(MKY)