President signs coronavirus bill into law

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Polish President Andrzej Duda on Saturday signed into law a special act introducing preventive measures against the spreading coronavirus, just a day after the Senate unanimously passed the bill.

The president announced his decision during his visit to the south-western town of Nysa.

The upper house of parliament on Friday unanimously backed the act in a 74 to 0 vote with nine abstentions. The lower house passed the bill on March 2.

The legislation introduces work-from-home options for quarantined employees and financial aid if schools, kindergartens or creches are closed. It also empowers provincial governors to issue instructions to state administrative bodies and confers additional tasks upon the army.

On Friday, Poland confirmed its four new coronavirus cases, bringing the total count to five.

The new virus, first detected in China, has infected more than 100,000 people globally and caused some 3,500 deaths. The World Health Organization has named the illness COVID-19, referring to its origin late last year and the coronavirus that causes it.