Polish prime minister comments on virus-fighting strategy

Paweł Supernak/PAP

PM Mateusz Morawiecki, in a conversation with Polish blogger Blowek, commented on the government's strategy to fight the spreading coronavirus epidemic.

The prime minister, stressing the need to counter fake news, denied rumours that the government was planning to cordon off cities and sent troops into the streets.

The real weapon in fighting the coronavirus is "for us not to go out and to move around as little as possible."

Morawiecki said he held a conversation with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday. "We talked about money from the (EU) cohesion policy. We want the funds to be also diverted to fighting coronavirus."

The prime minister said his government would like to use the cohesion policy money to cushion the impact of the disease on the Polish economy.

Morawiecki said his government was planning to halt domestic passenger flights, adding that the demand for such services had fallen anyway.

He also said the period of keeping schools closed, originally planned to last two weeks from Monday, may have to be prolonged.

Commenting on the 14-day quarantine requirement for Poles coming home from abroad, the prime minister said that the authorities will check to see whether people were observing the regulation, but admitted that it was impossible to verify everyone. However, the government may employ new technologies, including geolocation tools, to ensure the quarantine period was being observed, he added.

The prime minister also said that, at the moment, there were no plans to postpone the presidential election, planned for May 10. "I would like to believe that in April, the situation will be better and that we will be able to make the decision then," Morawiecki said.