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Cyprus seeks EU plan for COVID-19 medical supply shortages

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Cyprus Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou is in Brussels to discuss with EU counterparts a contingency plan to cover needs in medical supplies, especially for small countries, in case of a COVID-19 pandemic.

Ioannou will raise concerns about shortages during Friday’s extraordinary EU Health Ministers Council.

Health ministers seek to prevent shortages in medical supplies such as surgical masks, gloves, antiseptic soap and viral medicines.

The shortage of consumable products such as masks, gloves and antiseptics and antiviral drugs particularly in small countries such as Cyprus will be on the agenda, said Ioannou.

He told the Financial Mirror that currently Cyprus is not facing any shortages of medical supplies but there needs to be an EU-wide contingency plan for coronavirus scenarios.

EU ministers will focus on the COVID-19 outbreak, containment and prevention measures taken, the need to intensify monitoring of the situation and for a more effective coordinated response by EU member states.

It is expected that EU Health Ministers will review the protocols adopted by EU states based on guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on how to treat a suspected or confirmed case.

Ioannou will have bilateral meetings with some of his counterparts and will also discuss the matter with Cypriot European Commissioner on Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides.