Today: Friday, 23 February 2024 year

EU to fund cross-border transfers of COVID-19 patients

EU to fund cross-border transfers of COVID-19 patients

The European Union is ready to unblock €220 million for cross-border transfers of coronavirus patients between member countries.

The EU leaders meeting resulted in unblocking €220 million for the transportation of COVID-19 patients for free. The huge amount aimed at helping those nation s that are struggling with mounting hospitalizations. The EU decision assists transfers of patients with coronavirus between only member nations.

The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that rapid reaction was urgently needed to keep health systems afloat. “The spread of the virus will overwhelm our healthcare systems if we do not act urgently. And it is important to act coherently across the European Union,” the top EU official said.

Von der Leyen stressed that EU nations needed to step up real-time data sharing with the bloc’s infectious disease agency for the scheme to work efficiently.

In her statement, she urged medical facilities to keep their information actual and sharable. The accurate data on intensive care unit capacities could increase the cross-border patient care and it can be organised early enough.

“So the more countries share information, the better we can coordinate the response,” von Leyen added.

EU supports COVID-19 struggle in Belgium

The Commission chief’s statements come after Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke announced that Germany had agreed to receive coronavirus patients from overwhelmed Belgian hospitals.

They also follow news that hospitals in Belgium have been instructed to go into the last phase of a national coronavirus hospital management plan as ICU beds continue to fill up.

The move to the last phase will lead to the cancellation of non-urgent non-COVID-19 care and consultations in order to divert care and resources to treat the surge of patients sickened by the novel pathogen originated in China.

As of Friday, a total of 1,057 COVID-19 patients are currently admitted to Belgian intensive care units, according to Sciensano. There are 64 more patients in the intensive care unit than yesterday. Of the 6,187 patients in the hospital, 557 remain on a ventilator system.