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Jordan, March 8, 2020
EU seeks united front to tackle medical shortages from virus

(Petra)-- Fearing a possible shortage in masks and protective equipment to fight the new coronavirus, top European Union officials are urging members to put solidarity above national interests as the virus spreads quickly across the continent.

Speaking Friday after an urgent meeting in Brussels of health ministers from the 27-country bloc, crisis management commissioner Janez Lenarcic said EU nations are entitled to restrict exports of medical equipment but warned that such decisions could compromise the EU's ability to manage the growing COVID-19 virus crisis.

The last time EU health ministers met, on Feb. 13, no virus deaths had been reported in Europe. Now the EU has seen 211 deaths, with the Netherlands announcing its first death on Friday.