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World News

Polish PM tests negative for COVID-19, stays under quarantine

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has tested negative for COVID-19 and will continue to quarantine after coming in contact with a person who tested positive, the government’s spokesman said on Twitter on Tuesday evening.

FILE PHOTO: Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki arrives for the second face-to-face European Union summit since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brussels, Belgium October 1, 2020. Aris Oikonomou/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

“The prime minister is in a very good shape. He had a very intense day today...he conducted a series of videoconferences from the very morning,” PM’s top aide Michal Dworczyk told private broadcaster Polsat News on Tuesday evening before the test result was known.

Morawiecki’s results came as Poland reported 5,068 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, slightly less than a record high of 5,300 new cases reported on Saturday.

“I am in constant contact with my colleagues and the government is working normally,” Morawiecki said in a video posted on social media.

Government spokesman Piotr Muller wrote on Twitter that the person who tested positive was an officer of the state protection service, which provides security for the government.

It was unclear whether Morawiecki would participate in the European Union summit on Thursday and Friday.

“The decision will be taken by the sanitary inspectorate and doctors following tests,” Muller told Reuters after the information on Morawiecki’s quarantine was released.

On Tuesday evening, media reported that Poland’s former Health Minister Lukasz Szumowski was admitted to a hospital due to coronavirus. Private radio RMF FM said his wife confirmed he was infected and admitted to a hospital.

In September media reported that Szumowski, who had become synonymous with the country’s fight against COVID-19 before his resignation in August, tested positive for the disease.

Poland announced new restrictions on Saturday to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus after reporting record infections for a fifth successive day. The measures included setting aside special shopping hours for senior citizens and increasing funding to care homes.

The country of 38 million has reported a total of 135,278 COVID-19 infections and 3,101 deaths since the start of the pandemic in March.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko, Pawel Florkiewicz, Alan Charlish and Anna Koper; Editing by Gareth Jones and Lisa Shumaker

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