Coronavirus: EU deploys doctors, nurses to Italy’s worst-hit areas

A team of doctors and nurses from Romania and Norway has been deployed through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to help Italian counterparts in Milan and Bergamo 

EU civil protection mechanism deploys doctors and nurses in Italy to help in the fight against Covid-19
EU civil protection mechanism deploys doctors and nurses in Italy to help in the fight against Covid-19

A team of European doctors and nurses has been dispatched to help their Italian counterparts in the country’s worst-hit areas by the coronavirus.

The medical staff forms part of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and has been deployed in Milan and Bergamo, the epicentre of Covid-19 in Italy.

The same EU mechanism has also been used by Austria to dispatch 3,000 litres of disinfectant to Italy. The European Commission is coordinating and co-financing this assistance.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen described the nurses and doctors as “the true faces of European solidarity”, commanding their efforts to help Italy.

“The whole of Europe is proud of you. The Commission is doing everything it can to help Italy and all our member states at this time of great need,” she said.

Italy has been the worst-hit European country with more than 130,000 cases and almost 17,000 deaths. 

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management thanked Romania, Norway and Austria for coming to Italy's support.

“Our EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre is working 24/7 with all Member States to make sure help is channelled to where it's most needed,” he said.

The EU's Copernicus satellite system has also been activated by Italy to map health facilities as well as public spaces during the coronavirus emergency.

On Monday, Italy received a delivery of personal protective equipment coordinated through the EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre. Several EU Member States have also sent protective equipment such as masks, overalls and ventilators to Italy, as well taking Italian patients for treatment in their countries.

More in Europe