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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish MPs pass special law to stave off coronavirus

03.03.2020 13:00
Polish lawmakers have approved a set of special rules to help the country fend off the threat posed by the coronavirus.
Audio
  • Polish MPs pass special law to stave off coronavirus
The lower house of Polands parliament, the Sejm, is in session in Warsaw late on Monday.
The lower house of Poland's parliament, the Sejm, is in session in Warsaw late on Monday.Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Under the new rules, employers would be able to instruct employees to work from home in an effort to prevent the spread of the new Covid-19 virus.

The law introduces a special allowance for parents who are forced to stay home and take care of their children if a nursery, kindergarten or school closes amid coronavirus fears.

The new rules also aim to relax construction regulations to enable authorities to more easily build hospitals and other medical facilities as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the health minister would be able to set maximum prices for some medical supplies and products needed to counteract the coronavirus.

In a rare display of non-partisan cooperation, both the ruling conservative party and the opposition voted to support the new measures on Monday.

A total of 400 MPs were in favour of the legislation, while 11 opposed it and seven abstained, Poland's PAP news agency reported.

The bill now goes to the Senate, the upper house of Poland's parliament, for further debate.

Polish MPs voted 400-11, with seven abstentions, to adopt the new law rules in a rare display of non-partisan cooperation. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka Polish MPs voted 400-11, with seven abstentions, to adopt the new law rules in a rare display of cross-party cooperation. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

The Covid-19 virus has now infected more than 90,000 people globally, with Ukraine the latest country to report its first case. The number of coronavirus deaths exceeded 3,100 worldwide, news media have reported.

No coronavirus case has been confirmed in Poland so far.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told deputies during a special session of Poland’s parliament on Monday that his country was prepared to deal with a coronavirus outbreak and urged Poles not to panic.

Morawiecki is scheduled to meet with his counterparts from three other Central European countries on Wednesday to discuss ways of tackling the coronavirus threat.

(gs/pk)

Source: PAP

Click on the 'Play' button for an audio report by Tomasz Ferenc...