The impact of coronavirus COVID-19 is devastating and paralyses public life in European countries. More and more countries take measures confining their citizens to their homes and cancelling all public events.
People are losing their lives and hospitals can hardly cope with a constant flow of new cases of infection. In the middle of the crisis, civil servants fulfil an indispensable role of caring for the infected, coordinating the management of the crisis and ensuring the enforcement of the different measures taken.
In doing so, they deliver a vital contribution to keeping the country’s functional mechanism intact and, once the crisis will have been overcome, to make it possible for governments and citizens to take up normal life again and restore the damage that the whole of society has had to endure.
The nursing staff and doctors in hospitals, the police engaged in confrontational actions with citizens, the military in the streets, the staff of prisons, local and regional authorities, ministries, post and telecom, they follow strict rules of keeping a distance, but nevertheless all have regular contacts with citizens and are thus exposed to the risk of being infected.
It is therefore of the absolute necessity that the staff of those essential services of public interest have the equipment and clothing at their disposal which will provide them with maximum protection against infection. We call on governments to take this as a rule from which no deviation can be accepted. Unimaginable would be a situation in which the public service system of a country would collapse and the functioning itself of that country would be endangered, when a great number of its public service workforce would be unable to perform their duty, due to infection.