US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Normal capacities of European Union member states can only meet 10% of the demand for protective equipment and other medical devices such as artificial respirators, which has exploded due to the pandemic of coronavirus, according to an internal Commission document that Reuters was able to read on Wednesday.
According to the Commission’s estimates, “traditional supply chains can only meet around 10% of demand”.
In this document dated Wednesday, the Commission adds that “the availability and delivery of personal protective equipment and other medical devices, in particular artificial respirators, remains a concern across Europe”.
Most member states, says the EU executive, have limited reserves and a limited ability to accelerate production.
Restrictions imposed by certain member states on exports of medical devices to their European partners complicate the situation, as do controls on certain internal borders.
The European Commission, which launched a joint call for tenders a month ago on behalf of 25 of the 27 member states to procure artificial respirators and screening tests, announced on Tuesday that it would soon be able to sign contracts with several suppliers of masks and protective glasses.
The equipment will be available two weeks after the signing of the contract, the Commission said.
There is an urgent need to provide protective equipment to healthcare personnel, on the front line in the fight against the pandemic.
In Italy, it is estimated that doctors and carers account for almost 9% of the total number of confirmed infections; in Spain, they are more than 13%, even if these proportions are undoubtedly misleading, the nursing staff being more tested than the population.
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