A medical official wearing protective gear stands outside an emergency tent, which was installed for patients infected by the suspected coronavirus infection (COVID-19) near a hospital in Czestochowa, Poland March 11, 2020. Grzegorz Skowronek/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.
A medical official wearing protective gear stands outside an emergency tent, which was installed for patients infected by the suspected coronavirus infection (COVID-19) near a hospital in Czestochowa, Poland March 11, 2020. Grzegorz Skowronek/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.

To alleviate economic pressures caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Polish government announced an economic aid package worth 212 billion zloty (50.5 billion U.S. dollars) on Wednesday, while the number of confirmed cases in the country has reached 1,031.

The Polish Health Ministry announced Wednesday afternoon that so far 14 people have died from the disease in the country.

The economic aid package, which the government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki dubbed ‘Economic Shield’, includes aid to businesses, extra funds for the country’s healthcare system, extra protections for workers, additional public investments, and shoring up the country’s financial system.

The government had adopted more civic restrictions a day earlier in efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Congregations of more than two people are banned with exceptions for families, while members of the public are only allowed to leave their homes for work, medical reasons and buying essentials. Public transport is still operating in cities, but with strict limits on the number of passengers for each vehicle.

The measures will apply until at least April 11, a day before Easter celebrations in the country. Previous measures, including school closures and a ban for non-residents or non-Polish nationals to enter the country, have been extended until April 13.

Poland’s upcoming presidential elections, planned on May 10, are to go ahead despite ongoing criticism from opposition groups. Enditem

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