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English Section

Poland to bring in sanitary controls at borders in bid to stave off coronavirus

09.03.2020 16:35
Poland’s prime minister on Monday said his country would introduce sanitary controls at its borders and in ports and trains as it steps up efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
PM Mateusz Morawiecki talks to reporters on Monday
PM Mateusz Morawiecki talks to reporters on Monday Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz

Amid a global outbreak, the number of patients infected with the virus in Poland has risen to 17, according to the country’s health ministry.

New sanitary checks will first come into force at four Polish border crossings with Germany, and one with the Czech Republic. They will then be extended to Poland’s borders with other countries.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that initially controls would be introduced on buses and coaches, and then in trains and ports.

He also appealed for organisers to cancel planned public gatherings. He told reporters that such events were among the reasons why the coronavirus has spread faster in Germany and Italy.

Morawiecki told reporters that he had discussed the new sanitary controls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

The first case of coronavirus infection was reported in Poland last week.

Under special rules that came into force in Poland on Sunday, people suffering from or suspected to have an infectious disease can be ordered to undergo treatment in hospital.

Meanwhile, Poland’s national carrier LOT has suspended all flights to Italy, Europe’s worst-hit country, until March 12.

Poland’s Chief Sanitary Inspectorate has recommended that all indoor gatherings of over 1,000 people should be cancelled.

Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski told reporters on Monday that over 170 people were in hospitals in Poland amid fears they have contracted the coronavirus, while more than 4,000 were in quarantine in their homes.


Source: IAR