Opposition ready to team with gov't against coronavirus

The PM's Thursday talks with the opposition. Paweł Supernak/PAP

All Poland's opposition caucuses have stated their readiness to pool forces with the government in the battle against the spreading coronavirus, prime ministerial aide Michał Dworczyk said after the PM's Thursday talks with the opposition.

PM Mateusz Morawiecki announced the talks on TV on Wednesday evening.

Recounting the talks to reporters, Dworczyk said both sides agreed to hold regular meetings on the coronavirus, the PM's office will also provide all parliamentary caucuses with a daily information bulletin on the situation.

Dworczyk said Morawiecki presented the opposition with a report on current steps against the coronavirus, he also said that a government crisis team on the virus will meet on Friday. He also mentioned the opposition's proposals in the matter, among others to issue leaflets on the disease in Ukrainian for Poland's vast Ukrainian community.

"It's immensely important for the Law and Justice (PiS) government for such matters to stand above political divisions," Dworczyk said, adding that "diseases don't wear political colours."

Asked about the financing of measures against the virus, especially if the government planned to channel more than PLN 100 million (EUR 23.3 million) for the purpose, Dworczyk said the state will cover all necessary costs, and informed that it also had almost PLN 1.3 billion for the purpose in a special crisis pool.

After the talks Tomasz Siemoniak, leader of Poland's biggest opposition party Civic Platform (PO), said his party was ready to cooperate with the government in the matter. Polish People's Party (PSL) head Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz told PAP that most of his proposals at the meeting with Morawiecki found acceptance.

Readiness to back the government in its battle with the coronavirus was also declared by The Left.

Jakub Kulesza from the rightwing Konfederacja (Confederation) grouping told PAP that the meeting was "reassuring."

The new coronavirus, first detected in China, has infected more than 95,000 people globally and caused over 3,200 deaths. The World Health Organization has named the illness COVID-19.

So far one coronavirus infection has been confirmed in Poland. Ninety-two suspects are hospitalised, 490 are quarantined at home, 5,647 are under medical surveillance.