By John Chalmers and Gabriela Baczynska
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union should solely carry coronavirus restrictions slowly and progressively to keep away from one other wave of infections, the top of the bloc’s govt stated on Thursday.
Ursula von der Leyen spoke after the 27 nationwide leaders mentioned stepping up joint testing efforts within the bloc, doling out vaccines and coordinating easing lockdowns as a second wave of the pandemic weighs on Europe.
“We’ve all realized from the expertise in the summertime that the exit from a wave … could be very tough and that … lifting measures too unexpectedly has had a really unhealthy affect on the epidemiological state of affairs in summer season and fall,” she stated.
“Subsequently, this time expectations must be managed. We are going to make a proposal for a gradual and coordinated strategy to lifting … containment measures. This will likely be crucial to keep away from the danger of yet one more wave.”
Europe has had about 11.3 million confirmed COVID-19 circumstances and practically 280,000 folks have died, in keeping with knowledge from the European Centre for Illness Prevention and Management. The pandemic has additionally thrust the EU into its deepest recession.
“We have to be taught previous classes and be cautious once we carry restrictions. It ought to be gradual and progressive. All of us wish to have a good time the top of the 12 months holidays, however safely. Let’s ring within the new 12 months safely,” stated Charles Michel, chairman of the EU leaders’ talks.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo stated the bloc wanted a joint technique for winter journey to keep away from “a 3rd ‘Christmas’ wave”.
Von der Leyen stated her Fee was broadening its search of a vaccine via talks with Moderna and Novavax.
“And we’re engaged on a vaccination marketing campaign to assist member states within the communication on the significance of vaccines. It’s self-protection and it’s solidarity,” she added.
Michel stated the variety of folks sceptical of vaccination was rising within the EU and that the bloc would launch a marketing campaign to persuade them to vary their minds. He stated he hoped the bloc would get vaccines in 2021.
“Vaccination priorities are comparable in most member states, first medical workers, then susceptible individuals,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel instructed journalists after the digital EU leaders’ gathering.
(Extra reporting by Reporting by Madeline Chambers, Thomas Escritt and Sabine Siebold, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; modifying by Grant McCool)
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