February 26, 2020 / 11:40 AM / a month ago

EU calls for coordinated European response to coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: European Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides speaks on Coronavirus outbreak before the European Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee in Brussels, Belgium February 18, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

ROME (Reuters) - European Union countries should coordinate their responses to the outbreak of the coronavirus to avoid diverging approaches, the EU’s Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides told reporters.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Rome with the health minister of Italy, where there has been a sharp increase in the number of infections with the virus causing flu-like symptoms, Kyriakides said countries should not give in to panic and the EU would produce a template for informing travellers on the virus.

“All member states need to inform us of their preparedness plans,” she said. “Diverging approaches across the EU should be avoided,” she said, adding the EU executive was ready to coordinate responses.

(This story corrects in second paragraph that the Commission will issue a template for information for travellers, not the information itself).

Reporting by John Chalmers, Marine Strauss, Kate Abnett, writing by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Jon Boyle

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