Coronavirus: 'It is crucial to implement the strictest measures as soon as possible'


Whole-country quarantines, border closures, states of emergency, medical supplies requisitioned – and now the United States has banned most Europeans from travelling to the United States. The coronavirus outbreak may have begun in China, but the illness is currently presenting an almost unprecedented challenge in Europe. Our guest is a man deeply involved in those efforts: Fabio Massimo Castaldo, a vice-president of the European Parliament. He is from the Five Star Movement, which is currently in coalition government in Italy, one of the countries worst hit by the virus.


Castaldo criticised the lack of a coordinated EU response to the coronavirus outbreak.

"There should immediately be a joint health protocol across the whole continent because this virus does not recognise any borders. We are still implementing different measures in different countries and this is not acceptable, it is increasing the risk of spreading the virus," he told FRANCE 24's Catherine Nicholson.

The European Parliament vice president also regretted that Italy has not received more help from its EU neighbours.

"We should centralise the production, distribution and acquisition of medical equipment and devices to counteract the viruses. Germany and France refused to give part of their stocks to Italy – and in my country we don't have the industry that's able to produce ventilation equipment for example," he explained. 

>> Coronavirus in Italy: From Florence to Palermo, tourism and economy grind to a halt

Programme prepared by Céline Schmitt, Isabelle Romero, Mathilde Bénézet and Perrine Desplats.

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