European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday the European Union will create a strategic reserve of ventilators for countries "most in need" amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In remarks recorded from EU headquarters in Brussels, von der Leyen said Romania has agreed to host this reserve, and the first 150 ventilators paid for by the EU are in production and will be sent immediately to the nations in need.
Von der Leyen cited Italy and Spain as the European nations hardest hit by the pandemic and said EU support for them was "crucial." She noted that Denmark has already pledged to send ventilators and a field hospital to Italy.
Ventilators have proven crucial in the most severe cases of COVID-19 to help patients breathe.
Von der Leyen said the EU is also procuring protective equipment such as masks to be shared as needed with member nations.