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English Section

Polish gov’t, opposition brainstorm ways to contain coronavirus

10.03.2020 15:30
Poland’s bitterly divided government and opposition put their differences aside to brainstorm ways to contain the spread of the coronavirus at a security summit convened by the country’s president on Tuesday.
President Andrzej Duda speaks after a meeting of Polands National Security Council in Warsaw on Tuesday.
President Andrzej Duda speaks after a meeting of Poland's National Security Council in Warsaw on Tuesday.Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

President Andrzej Duda told reporters after the gathering that the National Security Council meeting produced a number of “important proposals, including by the opposition.”

"I want to make it very clear: it was a very matter-of-fact discussion," Duda said, as quoted by state news agency PAP.

He added that participants voiced a “very positive evaluation” of “what has been done by the government and sanitary inspectors so far” to battle the coronavirus outbreak.

“I am happy because I think both the government and inspectors deserve such an evaluation, as do police officers, border guards and firefighters,” Duda also said.

Poland's National Security Council gathered after Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki earlier in the day announced that all large public gatherings would be banned across the country in a stepped-up effort to prevent the spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Morawiecki said on Monday his country would introduce sanitary controls at its borders and in ports and on trains in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

Twenty cases of coronavirus infection have been confirmed in Poland so far, the country’s health minister said on Tuesday afternoon.

Poland's top army commander struck by coronavirus: defence ministry

Top military man Gen. Jarosław Mika was among those who have tested positive for the virus, the Polish defence ministry said in a tweet.

It elaborated that Mika, who serves as general commander of the Polish armed forces, was diagnosed with the coronavirus after returning to Poland from a military conference in Germany.

The 58-year-old general is in "good condition," the Polish defence ministry also said, adding that other members of the Polish delegation to the conference have been placed under quarantine.

On Monday afternoon, the Polish health ministry reported that 467 people with suspected coronavirus infection were in hospitals nationwide, with a further 1,014 quarantined and 7,110 under epidemiological supervision.

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

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

Poland’s National Security Council advises the president and includes senior officials such as the Speakers of both houses of parliament, the prime minister, the defence, interior and foreign ministers, and prominent politicians from both the government and opposition.

The head of the president’s National Security Bureau (BBN) is also a member of the National Security Council (RBN).

Poland’s government and opposition last week vowed to join forces to stave off the coronavirus.


Source: PAP, TVP Info