|Author (Corporate)||Cardiff EDC|
|Content Type||News, Overview|
Reports and information on the outbreak of a novel disease named Coronavirus (2019-nCoV or COVID-19), and in particular on the response from European countries and institutions to contain the spread of the virus.
The virus was first detected in China's Wuhan City, in the Hubei Province. On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) alerted to several cases of pneumonia in that city. That virus did not match any other known virus. On 7 January 2020, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus, the Coronavirus.
Despite measures by Chinese authorities to contain the virus, it soon started spreading to other cities in the country and later to other countries in the region and beyond. On 28 January, the European Commission activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism - following a request for assistance from France - to provide consular support to EU citizens in Wuhan. The plan included the repatriation of EU citizens back to Europe.
The spread of the disease occurred alongside the spread of rumours and misinformation. Media sources also reported on increasing discrimination against Chinese and east Asian individuals due to this virus.
The Council of the European Union held a meeting on 13 February to discuss the implications of the outbreak of human cases of coronavirus. The conclusions adopted at the meeting welcomed the response from the EU to the threat of a possible pandemic outbreak, and called for increased cooperation both at EU and international level. The exchange of views was held on the basis of a steering note prepared by the Council presidency.
The first death in Europe related to this virus was reported by French authorities on 15 February 2020. In late February, media sources reported on clashes in Novi Sanzhary (Ukraine) as locals stoned a bus with people evacuated from Wuhan and heading to a quarantine facility. Elsewhere, the number of cases registered in Europe increased steadily, particularly as Italy faced an outbreak. On 24 February, the European Commission announced a new aid package to contain the disease.
|Keywords||EU Civil Protection Mechanism