PM meets with local government officials over virus threat

During Wednesday's talks, the PM and his ministers had informed local government officials about the latest decisions concerning the closure of educational establishments and the ban on mass gatherings. Paweł Supernak/PAP

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki held a meeting on Wednesday with province governors and the mayors of major cities to discuss the threat of the spreading coronavirus.

Observing that social unity was paramount in the face of the virus threat, Morawiecki wrote on Facebook: "We all agreed that protecting the Polish economy, public health and securing the normal functioning of state institutions are the priority. We will react as we go and inform the public about further steps."

The PM said that on average once a week he would consult with local government officials via videoconference. He added that during Wednesday's talks, the PM and his ministers had informed local government officials about the latest decisions concerning the closure of educational establishments and the ban on mass gatherings.

The head of the Prime Minister's Office, Michal Dworczyk, said that during the meeting, "many questions were raised, but also suggestions, propositions, some of them far-reaching on the part of city mayors, including the proposal of closing all borders, as in Israel," which Dworczyk said was going too far.

According to him, also discussed were decisions province governors would have to take, such as imposing a duty on district councils to secure people in quarantine. Help for the elderly was also on the agenda. "Here a large role will be played by the municipal services, including the City Guard, but the police will also help and are helping, as well as the Territorial Defence Force and operational army, which has been assigned to that task by the Ministry of Defence," Dworczyk said.

He added that to date the government has made over PLN 470 million (EUR 108.8 million) available for the fight against coronavirus. "Further funds for that aim will be earmarked and made available," he said.