“We are currently mobilizing 100 million euros for the purchase of rapid tests, which we will distribute to the Member States (EU). And we are launching a joint procurement procedure to get even more, ”von der Leyen said in a press release.

Antigen tests – less effective than PCR tests – do not require laboratory tests, and the result can be known in ten to thirty minutes.

These rapid tests “may play an important role, but we propose an EU-wide approach to approval and use. Only then will there be mutual recognition of tests and test results, “von der Leyen insisted.

European Council President Charles Michel on Tuesday called for coordination of the approval of rapid tests and ensuring their production “on a European scale, so that they are available everywhere”.

A day before a videoconference summit of heads of state and government, Ursula von der Leyen again called for better sharing of health data between member states through the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) platform.

“This will help us, for example, to know where there is capacity in intensive care units” or whether cross-border transfers of patients “can be arranged if necessary,” she said.

The Commission – which intends to coordinate national vaccination strategies – is proposing a six-month extension of the VAT exemption on the purchase of vaccines and screening kits.

Von der Leyen reiterated his call for harmonization of EU travel regulations by developing a “common EU passenger location form”.

The EC President also calls for increased interoperability between national tracking applications, urging all states to link all such applications to a recently launched European portal.

Up to date situation

With a cumulative incidence of 1,390.9 cases on average, per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, Belgium has surpassed the Czech Republic (1,379.8) and is already the European country most affected by COVID-19, EFE reports, according to RADOR.

Belgium has registered an average of 13,052 new daily infections in the last week, and the average weekly increase in infections is 38%. Hospitalizations in Belgium increased at a weekly rate of 88%, with an average of 502 hospitalizations per day, while SARS-CoV-2 deaths rose to a daily average of 48.3, a weekly increase of 50%.

Russia has recorded 320 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the blackest toll for a day since the start of the pandemic. “The (health) system is operating at full capacity today, so it is imperative that we all come together to stop this infectious process,” Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Tuesday.

With 1,547,774 cases of contamination with the new coronavirus, Russia is the most affected country in Europe and the fourth in the world after the United States, India and Brazil.

In Germany, the number of intensive care patients has doubled in the last two weeks. There are enough beds and ventilators in intensive care units, but doctors fear the lack of professionals to care for patients, notes EFE. Germany has recorded 11,409 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, up from 6,868 a week ago.

The Czech Republic, a country of 10.6 million people, has more than 10,000 new SARS-CoV-2 contaminations in the last 24 hours. According to the authorities, the capacities of the hospitals could be exceeded in the second week of November.

In the last seven days, 13,066 people have been hospitalized by COVID-19 in France, which currently has seven times more hospitalizations due to the disease caused by the new coronavirus than when the quarantine began on March 17.

Italy currently has 1,284 intensive care patients due to Covid-19 and has an average increase of 90 people per day, which is worrying that in a few weeks, despite the increase in places, there will be another collapse. , as it happened in March, writes EFE.

The UK has recorded another 20,890 SARS-CoV-2 infections and 102 deaths, according to the latest official figures, while experts warn of an “exponential” increase in contamination in the country.

Europe is the continent on which the pandemic has accelerated the fastest – with over 220,000 new daily contaminations, on average, in the last seven days – representing a 44% increase over the previous week.