The EU bets on the deployment of ‘rapid tests’ to stop the coronavirus

The ‘rapid test’ strategy – the antigen test that provides results in just ten minutes – gains positions as a resource to keep the pathogen at bay. EU leaders, in an informal summit of more than three hours held yesterday by videoconference, agreed that progress must be made in the “distribution, use and mutual recognition” of the results of this type of samples to “reduce the impact in freedom of movement and in the functioning of the single market ”, assured the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

A tool for the short term that will have its first test in Slovakia: the Central European country has started a campaign to massively deploy this type of test and will share the results with the rest of the partners as a first step for its potential expansion to the rest of the EU . These tests “have to be accessible and available to everyone at the same time. We must avoid at all costs the fight for the protection teams that took place at the beginning of the crisis ”, highlighted Pedro Sánchez.

Willingness for full cooperation. The same one that has already acquired commitment range for the expected moment of vaccination. The leaders stressed yesterday that the distribution of the doses will be simultaneous in all member states and equitable – they will be distributed under equal conditions and according to population percentages that the European Commission already has stipulated. But it will not be an easy task. The criteria regarding priority groups (elderly people, health personnel, etc.) should be coordinated and other variables such as the refrigeration of the doses, their encapsulation or transport should be harmonized “as much as possible”. Faced with an arrival that will be gradual (depending on the success and validation of ongoing clinical trials), logistics must be agile to avoid any setback in distribution.

Everybody is tired and worried. But now you have to show determination, discipline and patience. We all have to do it, governments and each one of us “, stressed the President of the European Commission. Ursula von der Leyen revealed that in the face of an “extremely serious” health situation, the EU is going to mobilize 220 million euros for the transfer of cross-border patients, from hospitals with a high healthcare burden from one country to another. The Netherlands has already started referring patients to Germany. And Belgium is already shuffling it.

Von der Leyen defended the thesis that this time there will be no closing of borders. We have learned that lesson. Now we know more about how to deal with the pandemic. And it is committed to promoting green corridors ». Not only by road, but also by rail or plane.

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