EU offers ‘sincere apologies’ to Italy for coronavirus responses World News| Instant News


The EU has offered “sincere apologies” to Italy to leave it at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis when new evidence emerged that some European countries might have reached herd immunity when they began to carefully lift their locks.

As World Health Organization warned that the continent remained “in the eye of the storm”, the president of the European commission said on Thursday that truth was needed to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic – including political honesty.

“Too many were not there on time when Italy needed a helping hand in the beginning,” Ursula von der Leyen told the European parliament. “And yes, for that it really is Europe overall offer sincere apologies. “

At the start of the crisis, France and Germany imposed a ban on exports of vital medical equipment, while no EU country initially responded to Italy’s request for assistance through the bloc’s emergency mechanism. While health service policies and provisions are the responsibility of member states, the EU is intended to support cooperation between them.


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Opinion poll last month found that 88% of Italians felt the European Union failed to support their country, sparking concern in Brussels and other national capitals from Eurosceptic reactions. Von der Leyen’s immediate apology went further than the previous statement in which he chided member states for “the only response for me”.

As more and more European governments begin to reduce physical distance restrictions, a study in the Netherlands suggests that only a small number of people have developed antibodies to Covid-19, reinforcing concerns about “second wave” infections when populations begin to gradually return to normal life.

Plan out European lockdown

Jaap van Dissel from the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said a study of more than 7,000 Dutch blood donors found that only 3% developed antibodies to the virus. The figure shows only “a few hundred thousand people” who may have contracted Covid-19 in a country of 17 million, he said.

The study followed a similar survey of 1,500 people in Austria who were not hospitalized in early April. Which found that less than 1% of the population was “acutely infected” with the virus.

WHO’s regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, warned on Thursday that despite “optimistic signs” in some of the countries most affected by the virus, such as Italy and Spain, the number of global cases is still increasing – and half of them are in Europe.

While new infections are widely declining in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Switzerland, sustained or increasing rates are still being recorded in Britain, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, said Kluge, urging countries that are starting to relax restrictions to ensure control of the mechanism already available.


“It’s very important we don’t disappoint our guards,” Kluge said. Countries must ensure controlled transmission before they begin to lift locks, and that their health care system has the capacity “to identify, isolate, test, track and quarantine”.

Workplaces are needed to take preventative measures, and countries need to effectively manage the risk of importing new cases from abroad, he added. If the government cannot meet all of these criteria, Kluge said, they must “please rethink”.

Denmark on Wednesday became the first country in Europe to begin to reopen its schools, meanwhile Austria, Italy and Spain has allowed certain businesses to be reopened and some non-essential workers return to their jobs.


Germany has announced the initial steps to reopen some shops and gradually restart schools from May 4, while French students will start returning to school from May 11. Finland has lifted the travel blockade in the Helsinki region.

Typical of more developed countries along the pandemic curve, Spain, which recorded 19,130 ​​deaths, announced Thursday 5,183 new cases – a 2.9% increase from the previous 24 hours, far from the 12% daily average at the end of March and 20 % in mid-March.

Von der Leyen mengatakan membiarkan Italia di awal pandemi: “Ya, memang benar bahwa tidak ada yang benar-benar siap untuk ini,” katanya kepada parlemen Eropa.

“Juga benar bahwa terlalu banyak yang tidak hadir tepat waktu ketika Italia membutuhkan uluran tangan sejak awal. Dan ya, untuk itu, benar bahwa Eropa secara keseluruhan menawarkan permintaan maaf yang tulus. ” Lebih dari 21.000 orang telah meninggal akibat virus di Italia, jumlah kematian tertinggi di Eropa.








Ursula von der Leyen: ‘Benar bahwa Eropa secara keseluruhan menawarkan permintaan maaf yang tulus.’ Foto: Thierry Monasse / Getty Images

According to Johns Hopkins Pelacak universitas, hampir 2,1 juta orang telah terinfeksi oleh coronavirus dan hampir 140.000 telah meninggal, termasuk 90.000 di Eropa. Hampir 60% populasi dunia hidup di bawah semacam pengurungan wajib atau sukarela.

Di AS, yang sudah tercatat kematian terbanyak dari negara mana pun, dengan 30.985 kematian dari 639.644 infeksi yang dilaporkan, Donald Trump pada hari Kamis mengumumkan pedoman untuk membuka kembali bagian-bagian negara itu, bersikeras bahwa “strategi agresif” melawan virus berhasil dan bahwa “data menunjukkan bahwa secara nasional kita telah melewati puncak pada kasus baru”.

Sebagai kepala Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa, António Guterres, mengatakan hanya “vaksin yang aman dan efektif” yang dapat mengembalikan dunia ke keadaan normal, menambahkan bahwa ia berharap akan tersedia pada akhir tahun ini, Yayasan Bill & Melinda Gates menawarkan $ 150 m (£ 120 juta) untuk pengembangan vaksin.


Kepala eksekutif yayasan, Mark Suzman, mengatakan tantangannya sangat besar. “Ada 7 miliar orang di planet ini,” katanya. “Kita perlu memvaksinasi hampir setiap orang. Tidak ada kapasitas produksi untuk melakukan itu. “

Concern continues to mount over the advance of the pandemic in Africa, where the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that more than 1m tests would begin to be rolled out from next week to address a huge shortfall in assessing the true number of cases on the continent.


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