Poland to halt coal mines as coronavirus infections spike

Poland will temporarily shut down 12 of its coal mines after coronavirus infections spiked in the country’s southern coal region in recent weeks, officials have said.

Polands Deputy Prime Minister and State Assets Minister Jacek Sasin (centre) speaks at a joint news conference with Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski (left) and Chief Sanitary Inspector Jarosław Pinkas (right), in Warsaw on Monday.

Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister and State Assets Minister Jacek Sasin (centre) speaks at a joint news conference with Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski (left) and Chief Sanitary Inspector Jarosław Pinkas (right), in Warsaw on Monday.Photo: PAP/Wojciech Olkuśnik

“Starting tomorrow, we will suspend work in two mines operated by the Jastrzębska coal company and in 10 mines run the Polish Mining Group,” Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin, who also serves as minister for state assets, announced on Monday.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski and Chief Sanitary Inspector Jarosław Pinkas, Sasin said that miners would receive 100 percent of their pay during the shutdown, which is expected to last three weeks.

Over the weekend, the Polish health ministry reported a total of 1,151 new SARS-CoV-2 virus infections, including 676 in the southern Silesia coal region.

Most of the new cases concern miners and their families, officials told reporters on Monday.

They added that most of the miners testing positive for the novel coronavirus were asymptomatic.

A total of 26,780 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Poland, with 1,161 deaths from the COVID-19 disease so far, public health officials reported on Monday morning.

The number of new virus cases rose by 219 from the previous day, while the death toll increased by four, according to the Polish health ministry.

Of the new cases confirmed on Monday, 151 were in the southern coal region.

(gs/pk)

Source: PAP

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