The role of health care authorities is paramount in the case of a pandemic as they represent the most visible and credible information source able to enforce measures within the population.
To achieve their task, authorities in Europe need to create a single advisory commission at the European level in touch with the national commissions to draw up European guidelines to protect people, fight the virus, follow and support research on the disease.
Among others there is a need to identify in the quickest way possible, infected individuals (travellers from suspicious countries, asymptomatic patients) by voluntary auto-test at the entrance of countries as well as to isolate and analyse close contacts of the index-case in the previous two weeks and prescribe confinement measures. Last but not least, recognize vulnerable patients among elderly people and protect them from total isolation, where feasible.
On the communication front, give clear-cut information about available blood tests and their necessity according to the clinical situation, recommend diagnostic tests (PCR) to the health care centres or doctors’ consulting rooms where the diagnosis should be confirmed or ruled out and foster home care and telemedicine.
Protect health care workers who are on the front-line and provide PPE’s at all kind of institutions not only hospitals but also for exposed personnel in highly important tasks like administration of hospitals, nursing homes, district nurses, research, ambulances, etc.
On the infrastructure level, supply blood tests and diagnostic tests (PCR) when justified, be prepared to open additional facilities with the right equipment for the admission of patients, provide or adjust the number of ICU (intensive care unit) beds as needed, Create healthcare plans for nursing homes in the preparation for pandemics.