Official tests fail to confirm coronavirus in Polish minks

Marcin Bielecki/PAP

Tests carried out on minks at a farm in northern Poland have found no trace of the coronavirus, contrary to previous media reports, the agriculture minister announced on Thursday.

Earlier research by the Medical University of Gdansk found that eight minks, out of a total of 91 tested at the farm, were infected.

But a new investigation returned no positive tests.

"The test results (...) have not confirmed the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in this species," said Krzysztof Niemczuk, director of the Veterinary Institute.

Niemczuk said, currently, there were no coronavirus cases on Polish mink farms. However, the tested farm will continue to be monitored, he added.

On Wednesday, the Agriculture Ministry said that the Gdansk University results had not been officially recognised, as the testing had not been supervised by the Veterinary Inspectorate.

In early November, the coronavirus was detected on mink farms in Denmark, resulting in a cull at 284 Danish farms.

The new type of coronavirus is seen as dangerous because it can be passed to humans. Similar pockets have also been found on mink farms in the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Greece, Italy and the US.

In Poland, there are about 900 farms breeding animals for fur.