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European Parliament: question on role of the ECDC in addressing the COVID-19 crisis

By five deputies (EDC)

"Parliamentary questions    

20 May 2020    


Question for written answer to the Commission Rule 138

Nicola Procaccini (ECR), Carlo Fidanza (ECR), Raffaele Stancanelli (ECR), Sergio Berlato (ECR), Raffaele Fitto (ECR) 

Subject: Role of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in addressing the COVID-19 crisis

On 18 February 2020, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the EU’s leading public-health body, after studying the first 45 cases of COVID-19 identified in Europe, assessed as ‘low’ the risk posed by the coronavirus to the general public and as ‘low to moderate’ the risk to healthcare systems.

At that same meeting, the group of scientists decided that there was no need to make provision for tests to determine the transmission rate of COVID-19 and stated that only patients who had visited Wuhan should be tested, thus ruling out any possibility of diagnosing patients with symptoms and patients in intensive care with pulmonary problems of unknown origin.

Within a few days, the virus began its inexorable spread throughout Europe.

In the light of the above, and given the confusion surrounding the period which preceded the official declaration of a pandemic by the WHO, can the Commission answer the following questions:

1 Was it informed of the outcome of the meeting of 20 February 2020?

2 Does it agree that the members of the ECDC Advisory Forum were guilty of complacency in failing to take seriously the dangers of a pandemic which shortly afterwards would spread throughout Europe?

This question is supported by a Member other than the authors: Pietro Fiocchi (ECR)

Last updated: 8 June 2020".

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