China gets EU help in battle against virus

The European Commission is co-financing the delivery of more than 25 metric tons of personal protective equipment to China after the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism was activated to help the fight against novel coronavirus.

An Austrian aircraft left Vienna on Sunday with the equipment, including masks, gloves, protective clothing and disinfectant. This is in addition to more than 30 tons of equipment mobilized by EU member states and already delivered to China earlier this month via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

Through the mechanism, the European Commission plays a key role in coordinating the response to disasters in Europe and beyond. When the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country, it can request assistance via the mechanism.

Janez Lenarcic, commissioner for crisis management, said: “We must work on all fronts simultaneously to tackle the outbreak. The latest cases in Europe show that international cooperation is crucial in stopping the spread of the virus and protecting European citizens. The EU and China are working closely together. I want to thank Austria, Czechia (Czech Republic), Hungary and Slovenia for mobilizing this equipment.”

The European Commission is in regular contact with member states, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and the World Health Organization on all aspects of COVID-19 outbreak.

Stella Kyriakides, commissioner for health and food safety, said: “The commission and the member states will continue to support and complement the global efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19. Viruses do not know regions, countries, nor continents. While we continue to ensure a high level of preparedness in the EU and support member states, the protection of health for all will always remain a top priority and we will continue to remain in solidarity with China.”

Meanwhile, Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, reported 398 new cases and 149 new deaths on Sunday, the Chinese health authorities said Monday.

The latest report brought the total confirmed cases in the hardest-hit province to 64,287, according to the National Health Commission.

Wuhan, the provincial capital, reported 348 new confirmed cases and 131 new deaths on Sunday. In total, the city has reported 46,607 confirmed cases and 1,987 deaths.

The province also saw 1,439 patients discharged from hospital after recovery on Sunday, bringing the total number of discharged patients in the province to 16,738.

No new cases of COVID-19 were reported Sunday in 24 provincial-level regions of China, local health authorities said Monday.

The regions include Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi, Henan, Hunan, Hainan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Tibet, Qinghai, Ningxia, Xinjiang (including the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps), Shaanxi, Gansu and Inner Mongolia.

A total of 11 new confirmed cases were reported Sunday outside Hubei province, according to the National Health Commission.

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