The European Parliament’s headquarters in Strasbourg, eastern France, will temporarily be used a coronavirus testing center, its president David Sassoli announced Tuesday.
“We want to be with our host city and its citizens in this difficult time,” Sassoli tweeted.
The parliament is expected only to hold limited sessions, in its alternative home in Brussels and online, until September.
A source in the assembly said part of the headquarters was being made available to French authorities for use as a testing center, with beds for patients, as well as an area for consultations.
The parliament would also be offering part of its vehicle fleet to be used for transporting medical staff, the source said.
Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries said he was “deeply touched” by the move.
“This decision is also a symbol of the mutual aid that European countries must display in the fight against the coronavirus,” Ries wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.
The Alsace region around Strasbourg is the worst-hit in France, along with the Ile de France region around Paris. The wider Greater East region accounts for almost a quarter of the country’s deaths of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Patients from eastern France have been evacuated for treatment to neighboring Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland as well as to other regions of France.