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EU officials warn of second wave of coronavirus after summer

(Xinhua)    10:36, July 16, 2020

BRUSSELS, July 15 (Xinhua) -- European states should not let their guard down as a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic could hit the continent after summer, possibly coinciding with the seasonal flu, European officials warned on Wednesday.

Vice-president of the European Commission for Promoting the European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas and EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides admitted that the EU's response to the first wave had been "uncoordinated", but insisted that lessons had been learned and they were now urging member states to be prepared for a new outbreak.

"We now know more about the virus and its impact but we don't know everything yet. Our duty is to remain vigilant and preventive," Schinas said as he unveiled the European Commission's plan to counter further eventual outbreaks of COVID-19.

"The virus is still with us and is still expanding in several regions worldwide. Within the EU, there are some well-identified outbreaks, where action is being deployed to ensure they remain under control," Schinas said.

With new cases already increasing in some areas of Europe, Commission officials announced a series of measures to prepare hospitals and set public health policy for the end of summer.

"Today we are looking at reducing risks linked to the coexistence of COVID-19 with the seasonal influenza, as of next fall. This will be the first time that these two cycles will coincide," Schinas said.

He said the plan sets out actions that need to be taken to avoid generalized lockdowns in case of a second wave.

"We still have COVID-19 amongst us. We have come a long way and we recognize that. But no one can predict what will come ahead in the coming weeks and months. Preparedness will be key, especially before the autumn and winter months," Kyriakides added.

Appealing for more testing and contact tracing, the commissioner said there was also the need for improved public health surveillance, health capacities to ensure that personal protective equipment is readily available.

"We need to prevent and not only to contain," she said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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