The European Commission has announced several new measures to strengthen Europe’s preparedness for future outbreaks of the coronavirus. A new communication lists priority actions for national authorities, the Commission and EU agencies. They include actions on increasing testing coverage, contact tracing, the smooth procurement of personal protective equipment and pharmaceuticals, research and support for vulnerable groups.
The Commission has engaged in talks with pharmaceutical manufacturers to ensure an appropriate supply of medicines. Through a deal with US manufacturer Gilead, the Commission secured batches of the antiviral Remdesivir for 30,000 patients. It also announced plans to sign a deal to secure 300 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine from France’s Sanofi (Sources: euobserver, Politico).
Deutsche Telekom and SAP were tasked by the European Commission to create a platform that allows the various national contact tracing apps in Europe to communicate with each other. This way contact warnings would work across borders. In a first step, the platform would first target apps with a similar decentralised architectures such as the ones launched in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Denmark (Source: Spiegel Online).