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UPDATE: Poland steps up battle against coronavirus as cases rise

10.03.2020 18:18
Poland on Tuesday said it was banning large public gatherings and introducing sanitary controls at its eastern borders as the number of the country’s confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 21.
Image: blackking666Pixabay
Image: blackking666/Pixabay Pixabay License

The stepped-up effort to prevent the spread of the virus was announced after a meeting of a government crisis management team and a day after the country moved to institute sanitary checks at ports, on trains and at four border crossings with Germany and one with the Czech Republic.

Poland’s bitterly divided government and opposition put their differences aside to brainstorm ways to contain the spread of the virus at a security summit convened by the country’s president on Tuesday.

The first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Poland last week. No deaths from the virus have been reported.

The sports ministry said on Tuesday it was recommending that all sporting events in the country be cancelled.

Meanwhile, President Andrzej Duda has vowed not to hold large public gatherings as part of his re-election campaign in order to avoid spreading the virus. Poland’s presidential elections are due to take place on May 10, with a potential second round scheduled for May 24.

In another effort to fight off the spread of the Covid-19 disease, Poland’s top Ekstraklasa football league said that matches would be played behind closed doors, without supporters.

Universities halt lectures 

The country’s famous Jagiellonian University in the southern city of Kraków halted all classes for students until further notice. And the Medical University of Warsaw announced it was cancelling lectures for students and suspending visits by foreign guests.

The authorities in the western city of Poznań said they were closing local schools, kindergartens, zoos, swimming pools and cultural centres for two weeks.

Meanwhile, the general commander of the Polish armed forces, Gen. Jarosław Mika, was among those who have tested positive for the virus, the Polish defence ministry said in a tweet.

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.

The new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes a disease called Covid-19, was first reported in Wuhan, China. It has now spread to 115 countries.

The most common symptoms of the illness are fever, coughing, difficulty in breathing, muscle pain and fatigue.

(pk/gs)

Source: PAP/IAR