Poland changes approach to dealing with epidemic - health minister

The minister said after a stage of drastic measures applied in the spring defence against the pandemic "we are changing the nature of our response, moving away from measures applied nationwide, to measures dedicated to regions and tailored to the scale of the phenomenon." Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski on Thursday announced a change in the approach towards COVID-19, from the spring defence against a pandemic to a "flexible risk management" in the fall.

The minister said after a stage of drastic measures applied in the spring defence against the pandemic "we are changing the nature of our response, moving away from measures applied nationwide, to measures dedicated to regions and tailored to the scale of the phenomenon."

He added that the new strategy indicates the directions of action, what goals are to be achieved and what actions are to be used to achieve these goals.

The strategy, according to the minister, covers four areas and concerns organisational changes aimed at increasing the efficiency of using infrastructure and human resources. The ministry plans to introduce three levels within the hospital network to deal with infected persons. People admitted to hospital emergency departments are to have quick antigen tests.

The ministry also intends to keep the existing 21 isolation rooms where infected people, who do not require being hospitalised, may stay. The isolation rooms have over 2,000 beds.

Other measures include the improvement of the functioning of medical transportation dedicated to COVID-19 patients and expanding access to testing points, including the enlargement of the existing 262 drive-thru testing sites.