Health Ministry announces new pandemic restrictions

On Tuesday Adam Niedzielski, the Polish Health Minister announced the imposition of new restrictions in Poland in order to slow down the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and COVID-19 disease caused by the virus.

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“In ‘red’ zones, the limit of up to 50 people taking part in gatherings is retained. In ‘yellow’ and ‘green’ zones it will be up to 75 and 100 people respectively,” Mr Niedzielski said. Weddings in the green zones can only involve 100 people, instead of the previous 150.

There will be an entirely new restriction in “red” zones. Restaurants, bars, pubs, and other gastronomic places can only be open until 10pm. In “yellow” zones, the obligation of covering the mouth and nose outside will be imposed.

Mr Niedzielski also announced that by the end of the week, the government will prepare an ordinance, including procedures concerning patients who are infected or suspected to have contracted COVID-19.

“To meet postulates especially from doctors dealing with infectious diseases, but also doctors in general, who called for a special ordinance, describing schematics for dealing with patients who are possibly infected, with confirmed contraction or with the disease caused by the coronavirus,” he said.

”New strategy”

“We want to propose a new strategy of fighting against the pandemic,” the minister stressed. He announced that a patient with a positive diagnosis will not be sent at once to an infectious disease hospital, but to the first-contact doctor.

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“This modification concerns a moment when the patient knows that they have a positive test result... Such a patient returns to the first-contact doctor. If the test was conducted because the patient could have been sent to a first-level hospital, the patient returns to the doctor working in the first level of COVID hospitals,” he added.

It will be the first-contact doctor who assesses the patient’s condition. “They analyse how severe his condition is, first of all by analysing symptoms. If this is a symptoms-free case or case with few symptoms, the doctor might decide to isolate the patient,” the minister said. If there are no symptoms, the patient will be isolated at home and will be taken care of by the first-contact doctor.

“It means that the decision about isolation will be made not only by infectious disease specialists but by all doctors. We are ready for this. Our systems give such authority to all doctors,” Mr Niedzielski assured.

The minister said also that the government takes into consideration the conditions of assigning tests in different zones.

The Polish Health Ministry announced 1,326 new confirmed COVID-19 infections in Poland on Tuesday morning, increasing the total number of cases recorded in the country to 89,962 including 18,524 still active. The number of active cases increased from 17,769 yesterday. The authorities also announced 36 new fatalities. The death toll in Poland went up to 2,483.