Extra measures to be taken over COVID-19 outbreaks in Silesia

Allocation of additional staff from other parts of Poland, new laboratories operating from next week and screening tests are among the measures to be taken in relation to the increase in the number of COVID-19 outbreaks in the Silesian province.

The Chief Sanitary Inspector Jarosław Pinkas, who came to Katowice on Wednesday to get a clear read on the situation also said that a large number of samples will be sent to laboratories outside the province, so as not to burden those working on the spot.

Specialists of epidemiology are expected to come to Silesia from other parts of the country, where there is no significant increase in infections to support employees of the Silesian sanitary services.

As it stands, the number of coronavirus-infected employees of the Jankowice mine in Rybnik adds up to 204 on Wednesday afternoon. The facility belongs to the Polish Mining Group (PGG), where 367 employees have been confirmed to suffer from COVID-19. Around 1,500 PGG workers have been put in quarantine. In total, nearly 450 people have already been infected in the Silesian mines.

Since late April, the Jankowice and Murcki-Staszic mines, where the most infections have been confirmed, have stopped extracting coal. From Wednesday, work was halted at the Sośnica mine in Gliwice, where 53 cases of the virus were confirmed.

Mining companies state that they have implemented protective procedures to secure their workers’ health and to move closer to the reopening of plants.

According to Chief Sanitary Inspectorate data, a total of 2,947 people in the Silesian province have been confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, while 138 patients have died in the region since the beginning of the epidemic. So far, 666 have recovered and 440 are hospitalised.