Ursula von der Leyen tells EU countries to share medical supplies

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By Ryan Thompson
Ursula von der Leyen tells EU countries to share medical supplies
Copyright  Euronews

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says member states must ramp up the production of medical equipment and share those goods within the bloc.

Von der Leyen said no country had the capacity to produce on its own what will be needed to treat patients in the fight against coronavirus.

"By producing more, keeping it in the European Union and sharing with each other we can protect our health workers, patients and contain the spread of the virus," Von der Leyen said in a video posted to Twitter Sunday.

As the number of patients infect with the virus rises in Europe, some members states have taken individual action to limit the export of medical supply stocks. France requisitioned face masks in early March. Around the same time, Germany banned the export of all medical equipment.

The European Commission will also launch a joint public procurement system with member states for testing kits and respiratory ventilators.

Italy's health service has been overwhelmed by an influx of patients needing to be hospitalised. It has been forced to make difficult decisions when delegating respiratory ventilators and hospital beds.