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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Health minister asks Poles not to crowd at cemeteries as All Saints' Day nears

20.10.2020 07:15
Amid a surge in coronavirus infections, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski has asked Poles not to crowd at cemeteries as they prepare to remember their dead at the start of next month.
Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski is seen on a television screen as he holds a virtual news conference on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020.
Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski is seen on a television screen as he holds a virtual news conference on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020.Photo: PAP/Wojciech Olkuśnik

All Saints' Day on November 1 and All Souls' Day on November 2 are when millions of Poles usually visit the graves of their loved ones, often travelling hundreds of kilometres to their home towns.

This year, amid an apparent second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Niedzielski urged people to spread their visits to cemeteries over a longer period of time to minimize social contact and help curb the virus.

He said that All Saints’ Day was a celebration deeply rooted in Polish culture and that, at least for now, the government was not planning to shut down cemeteries or restrict traffic in the run-up to the holiday by means of administrative decisions.

Niedzielski warned on Monday that new infections in the country could surge to 20,000 a day if social distancing and other measures were not widely respected.

Poland on Monday reported 7,482 new coronavirus infections and 41 more deaths, bringing its total number of cases to 183,248 and fatalities to 3,614.

Niedzielski this month vowed “zero tolerance” toward people who flout health rules amid rising infections, warning that offenders would be "severely punished."

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR