Radio Gdansk News in English: Poland sees record spike in Covid-19 infections

Poland yesterday recorded its largest single day spike in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. 599 new infections on Monday, with over 1100 reported over the weekend.

The figure puts Poland’s growth rate ahead of harder-hit European countries like Germany, Italy, and Spain, though most of Poland’s new cases are contained to localised outbreaks.

The World Health Organisation said yesterday that though the situation was improving in Europe, the coronavirus pandemic is continuing to worsen globally.

South America and South Asia are rapidly growing hot spots, with Brazil and India experiencing especially serious epidemics.

But the WHO also points to Eastern Europe as another emerging hotspot, with Russia and Belarus also seeing rapid spread of the virus.


In Poland, most of the new cases reported yesterday and over the weekend came from localised outbreaks around coal mines in Upper Silesia, hitting the area’s mining community hard.

Yesterday, the government made the decision to close several mines in an attempt to slow the outbreak.

Speaking to a news conference, Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin announced 12 mines would be temporarily closed for a period of three weeks. Shares in JSW, the company that owns the mines, fell by 9% after the announcement.

The closures have, however, been criticised by the Solidarity trade union. According to reports by Reuters news agency, Solidarity has expressed concern that the temporary closures could become permanent as the government looks to reshape the Polish coal industry, something the government has denied.


President Andrzej Duda has announced a plan to offer holiday vouchers to every child in Poland.

The vouchers, worth 500 złoty or around 113 Euros, can only be spent on holidays within Poland. The plan would offer the vouchers to families of all income levels and families with more than one child would receive more than one voucher.

The plan is part of an effort to restart the Polish economy after the sharp slowdown caused by coronavirus.

President Andrzej Duda, who is currently campaigning for the June 28th presidential election, said he hoped the voucher system could be implemented in time for the summer holidays.


Gdansk Lech Wałęsa Airport has ceremonially started construction on a 16,000sqm expansion to Terminal 2.

The cornerstone for the project was laid at a ceremony on Friday. The mayors of Gdansk, Gdynia, and Sopot, as well as the Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, helped to lay the stone.

Speaking at the event, the local leaders stressed the importance of the airport in bringing business to the region.

„The location of business in the Pomeranian Voivodeship depends on the quality of air services at the Gdańsk Airport.” said Provincial Marshal Mieczysław Struk, adding that the voivodeship is also looking at expanding rail transport into the airport.

The expansion will provide Gdansk Airport with 16,000sqm of new space. Due to be finished by the end of 2021, the new wing will primarily serve non-schengen flights, taking over from the dated Terminal 1.


Gdansk has unveiled its revamped resident card.

The karta mieszkańca, or resident card, offers Gdanskers the discounts and other benefits at various shops, restaurants, and cultural sites around the city.

Now though, residents will also be able to store a joint public transit ticket on the card, valid on both city trams and buses as well as SKM and regio trains within city limits.

The updated card features a passport style photograph, and can be obtained at the newly opened customer service centre opposite Galeria Bałtycka on Wrzeszcz.


Weather

Mostly sunny today with temperatures up to about 16°C, 60°F. A chance of some rain overnight and into tomorrow morning, but clearing up later in the day.

 

Thomas Holdstock/ako

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