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Nearly 3,000 coronavirus infections in Poland. 57 deaths

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TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters
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Health ministry informed on Thursday (April 2) evening about 392 new cases of coronavirus infection, which was the highest number to the date. The total number has therefore gone up 2,946. Furthermore, another 7 deaths have been confirmed, taking the tally up to 57. Many high government officials support the idea of holding presidential elections in May, possibly strictly via postal voting. The opposition stresses that such solution would only put life and health of citizens at risk.

Lab test results on Thursday confirmed coronavirus infection in 392 people, the Ministry of Health informed. This has been the highest number of confirmed cases in a day so far. The total number of infections has increased up to 2,946. Fourteen people died on Thursday alone. To the date, 57 deaths have been confirmed.

During the day, the ministry informed in consecutive reports about 79, 59 and 254 new infections, and about 2, 5 and 7 deaths respectively.

The previous day - Wednesday, April 1 - the government confirmed 243 infections with SARS-CoV-2 virus and 10 deaths of infected people. On Tuesday, March 31, there were 256 new cases and 2 deaths.

The health ministry also informed that over 61,000 samples have been tested for coronavirus so far, and 5,300 within the last 24 hours.

Out of the total of 2,946 cases, the most have been reported in Mazovian Voivodeship - 754, then in Lower Silesian Voivodeship - 338, and Silesian Voivodeship - 301.

Peak in April

Poland may face a peak in coronavirus infections in April, government spokesman Piotr Müller told state radio on Thursday, adding that further curbs on people's movements could not be ruled out.

He added that the Governmental Crisis Management Team held meetings on a daily basis, assessing the epidemiological situation across the country, and taking decisions either to increase or decrease restrictions. "I hope that the coming weeks will allow us to lift these restrictions," Müller said.

The Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro wrote in a tweet on Thursday that it would be better to hold presidential election via post on May 10 than in the peak of the pandemic.

Ziobro added that the party he was chairing - United Poland - would stand by Jarosław Kaczyński and his Law and Justice party when it comes to holding the election in May.

Symbol of downfall

"The election, if held on May 10, can become a symbol of downfall of this government, as it attempt to hold power at all cost," Civic Platform leader Borys Budka said on Thursday. He added not only the opposition must not allow for that to happen, but also any decent member of the ruling party.

The Civic Platform leader also said at a conference in Gliwice that instead of striving to help dying businesses and thousands of jobless people the PiS government was focusing on changes to the electoral code.

The Left parliamentary coalition announced they would submit two draft legislations that would extend the economy aid package already signed into law by President Andrzej Duda. The agrarian Polish People's Party said it would propose such initiative of their own.

No polling stations

Poland's ruling nationalists want to give all citizens the option of a postal vote in presidential elections scheduled for May 10, despite calls from critics to postpone the ballot due to the coronavirus. The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party filed draft legislation for the postal vote amendment in parliament on Tuesday. "Every voter, in keeping with formal requirements, will be able to vote without having to personally go to a voting booth. The rules will only apply once, during the 2020 presidential elections," the draft legislation stated.

On Thursday, however, the head of PiS parliamentary club Ryszard Terlecki said the party was preparing an amendment that would allow all citizens to vote via post. "There will be no need to go to polling stations, as there won't be any polling stations" - he explained.

Threat to health and safety

As it stands, only Poles over the age of 75 or those with certain medical conditions are eligible for postal votes.

Poland also told citizens on Tuesday to wear gloves while shopping, closed all parks and hotels and decreed that all minors will not be allowed to walk outside unaccompanied by adults. Critics, including Poland's human rights commissioner Adam Bodnar, said elections could pose a threat to the health and safety of voters if held. Recent polls show a majority of Poles want the elections to be postponed.

Autor:gf

Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters