PM orders increased hospital readiness across Poland

PM Mateusz Morawiecki issued a decree on Friday for provincial governors to raise the readiness level of hospitals across Poland, Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski announced at a press conference as the country braces itself up for the imminent arrival of the Chinese coronavirus.

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Health Minister Szumowski said that the PM’s decree “means that the provincial governor may issue an administrative decision that, under the order of immediate enforceability, may direct the activities of the hospitals that are to maintain the increased readiness.”

In practice, it means that selected hospitals may, for example, transform their wards to better accommodate potential patients infected with the coronavirus.

The head of the PM’s Office Michał Dworczyk said that the PM is to activate PLN 100 mln (EUR 23.11 mln) to counteract potential coronavirus situation in Poland. Hospitals will be able to apply for the additional funds via the intermediation of provincial governors.

Mr Dworczyk also said that “today a governmental plane took off. In a matter of several dozens of hours, we will have 30,000 tests more to examine people potentially infected with the coronavirus.”

For his part, deputy head of the Interior Ministry, Paweł Szefernaker, said that the provincial governors were obligated to ensure that provincial sanitary inspectors be available at all times. The official added that the provincial governors had been prepared to fight coronavirus for over a week.

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Mr Szefernaker said that nearly every day meetings between the provincial governors, the PM, the health minister and sanitary services were taking place. “Today, during the briefing, the provincial governors presented… the state of each province’s preparedness,” Mr Szefernaker said.

The provincial governors have already started to launch coronavirus countermeasures. For instance, in the city of Kielce, the city buses are being additionally disinfected. “It’s a preventive measure,” said the head of the City Transport Company (MPK).

According to the Polish Health Ministry, as many as 350 examinations for coronavirus contractions have been conducted in Poland so far and none of them confirmed the virus’ presence in the country. The ministry also reported that 47 people were hospitalised, 55 were quarantined and 1,570 were subject to epidemiological observation.

“Coronavirus is a dire threat. The whole world wonders at ways to stop it. The Polish health, uniformed and sanitary services cooperate in order to minimise the threat it poses to citizens. We are constantly monitoring the situation,” the PM tweeted.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, better known as the Wuhan coronavirus, broke out in Wuhan, China in December 2019. A total of 82,132 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed since December 31, 2019, by February 27, 2020. So far 2,801 people died due to coronavirus contraction.