Health ministry to prepare new strategy to combat pandemic

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

The Polish Health Ministry will develop a new strategy to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the health minister has said, adding that a detailed plan will be announced next week.

Adam Niedzielski said on Friday that the changes his ministry was preparing would be included in a new strategy. "We will prepare the third version (of the strategy - PAP) next week," he said.

The strategy presented so far in early September was to deal with the epidemic in the autumn. The solutions, as the ministry said, were prepared to tackle changing conditions, especially the overlapping of the COVID-19 epidemic and the seasonal increase in influenza and flu-like infections.

The ministry added the modification of plan to manage the pandemic also resulted from greater knowledge about the biology of the virus and the possibility of flexible use of organisational and infrastructural tools.

The new agenda will include a new solution so that household members of a person with a positive test result would not have to wait for information about quarantine from the Polish sanitary agency Sanepid, but would be automatically placed under quarantine. Niedzielski added that in the care of poorly or asymptomatic patients, devices for measuring blood saturation (pulse oximeters) will be used.

The pulse oximeters will be given to people with a positive result for the presence of coronavirus, indicated by family doctors. Under the new plan, the minister proposed creating temporary hospitals and increasing the number of places in closed medical units. He also said that antigen tests in symptomatic patients will be the same basis for determining COVID-19 infection as PCR tests.