Regions are at the frontline of coronavirus crisis, not only through their provision of health advice and medical services but also from the consequential economic impact of the widespread shutdowns. Provision of new interim services to allow local populations to cope with an extended shutdown is also a major task now. Regional emergency planning and response systems should contribute to the overall national and global crisis management, even if the magnitude of the current emergency is beyond what most regions could have foreseen. Still, every little bit helps.

Can our project contribute anything? An effective regional response to the current crisis recalls all the elements of a life cycle approach – the life cycle of the virus and of the public contamination, access to authoritative data (and suppression of fake news and false remedies), experts to interpret the data for local level use, the scoping of the boundaries of the local emergency planning, a coherent stakeholder analysis to identify both potential victims and potential local responders, mobilization of resources, and a credible transparent process of local communication based on facts rather than on rumors. LCA4Regions partners will have plenty of good practice experiences on the above to exchange when we next meet. And it may be that the project can eventually contribute some good practice resource efficiency ideas to the eventual economic reconstruction process.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Fritz Balkau

Note: LCA4Regions is not mandated to be involved in the management of the coronavirus. Crisis response is not a part of our project terms of reference. We offer the above purely in the spirit of supporting our partner regions in playing their proper indispensable part in this national and global crisis that touches us all. For more detailed and authoritative advice please refer to your national authorities, the EU, and the WHO.