Prime Minister in Silesia: we’re taking further steps to effectively curb the epidemic foci in the mines

A session of the Voivodeship Safety and Emergency Management Division (WZZK) took place in Katowice, attended by Head of Government Mateusz Morawiecki. The mining sector is most vulnerable to the spread of the virus, which is why the foci of infections must be detected as soon as possible.

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Photo: Adam Guz / Chancellery of the Prime Minister

Dynamics of the epidemiological situation in the region

The rate of coronavirus infections remains high in Silesia. Government actions in this matter have been precise and decisive from the very beginning. Screening tests are still being carried out among miners in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The scale of these actions is unprecedented.

The Prime Minister pointed out that Silesia required help and thanked the services that had flocked from all over the country to swing into efficient action against the coronavirus. ‘I completely reject any signs of stigmatisation. We should all be solidary, and my thanks go out to everyone in Poland for this solidarity,’ he emphasised.

More and more miners undergoing screening tests

So far, 170 thousand coronavirus tests have been carried out among miners in the Silesian Voivodeship.

  • In May, employees of the following mines were tested: Jankowice, Murcki – Staszic, Sośnica, Bielszowice owned by Polska Grupa Górnicza, KWK Pniówek coal mine managed by Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa and Węglokoks’ KWK Bobrek coal mine.
  • From 3 to 7 June, the second stage of tests was carried out at KWK Zofiówka coal mine; nearly 700 cases were identified as a result.
  • Until 7 June, tests were also underway at KWK Ziemowit, KWK Marcel and KWK Jastrzębie – Bzie coal mines. The tests involved nearly 14 thousand miners.
  • During the tests on 8 and 9 June, another 2.5 thousand samples were collected at KWK Ziemowit and KWK Zofiówka coal mines, as well as about 2.4 thousand at KWK Ziemowit and KWK Marcel coal mines.
  • On 10 June, tests will be conducted at KWK Jastrzębie – Bzie and KWK Borynia coal mines. Tests at KWK Bolesław Śmiały coal mine are scheduled for 11 June.


Tests for miners and their families

The tests in the Silesian Voivodeship have been carried out by the appropriate local sanitary and epidemiological stations, which have been collecting between 130 and 200 samples a day. Sanitary and epidemiological staff coming from other parts of the country have been a huge support for the local (poviat) stations in Silesia.

60 Swab Buses (Polish: Wymazobusy), collecting 220 samples in the field every day, were another important contribution to the tests.

The number of laboratories accredited for coronavirus testing in the Silesian Voivodeship has increased to 14.

Silesian statistics

Currently, slightly over 10 thousand infection cases have been reported in the region, 5.2 thousand of which are miners, with the number of recoveries at 2.5 thousand. There are 2990 cases in Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa, 1678 in Polska Grupa Górnicza, and 509 at Węglokoks’ KWK Bobrek coal mine.

Closure of 12 mines

To control the foci of infections in Silesia and, most importantly, in view of the safety of miners, extraction has been halted in 12 mines. This includes 2 mines of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa and 10 mines of Polska Grupa Górnicza.

All employees will go on a three-week idle time leave. The miners will receive 100[ŁR1] % of their remuneration, so they will not suffer any economic losses. Further screening tests will be carried out in that time.