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Coronavirus equipment ready soon after joint EU procurement bid

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Coronavirus equipment ready soon after joint EU procurement bid

Personal Protective Equipment - Photo © European Union

(BRUSSELS) - The joint EU procurement of coronavirus personal protective equipment has been a success, says the European Commission, with equipment available two weeks after Member States sign contracts with the bidders.

Producers made offers covering and in some cases even exceeding the quantities requested by the Member States that take part in the procurement, for every single item requested. The joint procurement covers masks type 2 and 3, gloves, goggles, face-shields, surgical masks and overalls.

This provides reassurance that hospitals, healthcare professionals, care homes and people that need it will have the necessary equipment to protect them from the virus and to limit its spread.

Commission president Ursula von der Leyen called on the Member States to sign the necessary contracts swiftly, hoping the material will soon provide considerable relief in Italy, Spain and in 23 more member states.

"Our priority is to ensure that those who are working around the clock to keep us protected and save lives – our healthcare professionals – have the necessary protective equipment," said the Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides: "The offers we have received respond positively to the requests of Member States for lifesaving equipment such as masks, glove and overalls."

25 Member States take part in this joint procurement. The offers are being evaluated and contracts are expected to be signed in the following days.

Joint procurement is a powerful way for Member States to buy goods on the markets, together, under the coordination of the European Commission.

The procurement for most equipment concerned was launched only a week ago, on 17 March, while a call for masks was initially launched on 28 February.

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