Poland closes 12 coal mines after COVID-19 outbreak

Polish authorities on Monday ordered the closure of 12 coal mines for three weeks after hundreds of workers were infected with COVID-19, news wires reported. The measure comes as coal mines in Poland’s southern mining region of Silesia have become hot spots for the transmission of the novel coronavirus.

Deputy PM Jacek Sasin said that the closure will take effect on Tuesday and is aimed at suppressing the epidemic. He added that the miners will continue to receive their full pay. “It is very important for us not to punish the miners economically for the infections at mines that have made us take this decision,” Sasin told reporters.

In some other earlier cases, miners told not to work because of the epidemic saw their wages reduced, increasing their frustration ahead of a presidential election that is crucial to Poland’s governing conservatives.

Poland has so far recorded about 27,000 cases of coronavirus, which is far less than many other European countries. Yet nearly 5,000 of the confirmed cases are coal miners.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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