Coronavirus: first rescEU ventilators dispatched to Czechia

Following a request for assistance from Czechia, the EU is immediately sending a first batch of 30 ventilators from rescEU - the common European reserve of medical equipment set up earlier this year to help countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

President von der Leyen said: “Czechia is facing one of the most difficult situations in Europe right now. The number of coronavirus cases is rising rapidly. And it needs medical equipment to treat patients in hospitals. We do not leave our European friends alone in these hard times. The European Commission is mobilising medical material through our Civil Protection Mechanism. I just called the Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to tell him that we are dispatching rapidly to Czechia a set of 30 ventilators from our RescEU reserve. We created this reserve in record time in spring, to stockpile essential medical material that we can send to European countries in need. And we are in touch with other EU countries, to mobilise more ventilators for the Czech Republic. We are in this together.”

”We have been working around the clock to avoid a repetition of the situation experienced at the end of February, when whole EU was overwhelmed in the fight against the pandemic. We created the rescEU medical reserve so no Member State is left alone when dealing with the same challenge. After already delivering protective face masks across Europe, this will be the first time the European Commission is dispatching ventilators from the EU level reserve,” said Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič.

The EU's Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in constant contact with authorities in Czech and more EU assistance can be channelled in the coming days via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, coming from Member States. In order to give Member States time to assess their response capacity and taking into account the gravity of the situation in the Czech Republic, the EU has proactively initiated the rescEU deployment of medical reserve.

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