The heads of government of Austria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Denmark, Norway, Israel and Australia spoke via video call about the coronavirus crisis. The meeting was convened by the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
Kurz organized the online meeting of the “Smart first-movers” group after some time had passed since their last meeting in July. During the spring and summer, the group exchanged views and experiences about the fight against the coronavirus regularly.
The group consists of countries that, thanks to timely anti-epidemic measures, managed to get the spread of the virus under control in the spring.
The prime ministers of the countries shared information on the approach to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in their respective states. According to the Austrian Chancellor, the development of coronavirus vaccines was also a topic of conversation.
“We discussed how to cope with the second wave of #COVID19 and progress with respect to the development of treatments and vaccines,” Kurz wrote on Twitter.
We exchanged on how to cope with the second wave of #COVID19 & progress with respect to the development of treatments and vaccines. @netanyahu @ScottMorrisonMP @kmitsotakis @AndrejBabis @Statsmin @erna_solberg
— Sebastian Kurz (@sebastiankurz) November 10, 2020
On the same platform, Czech PM Babiš thanked the Austrian Chancellor for convening the meeting.
“Australia, Israel, Greece, Denmark, Norway, the situation is complicated everywhere, but it is improving,” wrote Babiš.
“Reducing social contacts and mobility helps. And cooperation between countries in the area of health was a major topic today,” the Czech Prime Minister commented on the meeting.
Since the summer, the epidemic situation in the individual countries of the “smart” group has developed very differently. However, Czechia and Israel were hit especially hard by the second wave.
While in Israel, the strict nationwide lockdown helped to reduce the daily increase in new COVID-19 cases from more than 9,000 in September to the current several hundred, within the EU, Czechia continues to have the highest numbers of new infections and deaths per capita.
Title image: PM Andrej Babiš in the “Smart first-movers” meeting (Andrej Babiš / Facebook)