Morawiecki: we can't rule out "further-reaching" COVID measures
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki informed on Monday that the government could not rule out taking "further-reaching steps" regarding the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was to discuss the issue with the Medical Council later that day. He also announced "further incentives" to promote vaccinations. "99 percent of people who have recently died were unvaccinated. Do we need more striking data? - he asked.
At a press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki appealed for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Asked if the government has been already thinking what measures to implement once the fourth wave appears, the prime minister said this issue was being discussed by the cabinet and the Medical Council. "In the coming days, we will be working on ideas reaching further," he said.
"If the situation continues and the fourth wave of the pandemic is still a very serious threat, we don't rule out further-reaching steps," said the prime minister.
Morawiecki on vaccinating health care employees
He also said that more EU countries follow the rule of mandatory vaccinations for health care employees. He said the Medical Council would discuss this issue later on Monday.
"Health care should especially be immune to COVID-19," Morawiecki said. He added that "when visiting a hospital or a health facility, a citizen should have relative certainty they won't get infected".
He reminded that approximately 90 percent of doctors have been already vaccinated. Furthermore, high percentage of employees of other health care professions have also been inoculated, and so "the risk margin is rather small". "But we are considering this variant (mandatory vaccinations in health care)," he added.
Morawiecki about a brawl at a vaccination point
The prime minister was also asked to comment on Sunday's brawl at a vaccination point in Grodzisk Mazowiecki, sparked by vaccination opponents.
"Such incidents, like the one in Grodzisk Mazowiecki, are absolutely unacceptable. This aggression should be fully condemned and we would like to stress we are firmly against such actions," Morawiecki said.
He also warned that any attack of this sort will be followed by legal consequences. "This reprehensible aggression, and unfortunately this so-called anti-vaccination movement, only cause unnecessary excitement in Poland over an absolutely fundamental issue," he said.
Effective fight against COVID-19 is necessary "to prevent the fourth wave from happening, and if it happens, to ensure it has as little impact on our health care and economy as possible".
"If someone wants to risk their own life, they have every right to, but we all know the virus transfers from one person to another very quickly, and we all know well that an unvaccinated person can infect someone else who will die," the prime minister said.
Morawiecki on the necessity of vaccinations
"99 percent of people who have recently died were unvaccinated. Do we need more striking data? Do we need even more obvious evidence just how many good things we experience thanks to vaccinations, and how many bad thing can happen if we prevent thousands or millions of people from getting vaccinated. Let's not do this - I sincerely appeal," said the head of the government.
"We are scheduled for a debate with the Medical Council this evening, in order to discuss what further steps to take to take the vaccination level of the Polish society to a higher level," he added.
The prime minister also said that "today we have a high vaccination level in the 70+ group, quite decent in the 60+, but it could be higher". According to Morawiecki, it means that in case of the fourth wave, "which unfortunately is approaching, it should most likely have a slightly milder course". At the same time he cautioned that "it shouldn't make us careless and it certainly isn't a reason for not taking even more radical steps".
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP