31 people in Lesser Poland (Krakow’s region of Poland) have tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus) as of Monday, 23 March. Over 7,000 more people are quarantined for the safety of themselves and other on suspicion that they may have been exposed to the virus.
Infected people in the region include Nowy Sącz MP Edward Siarka (who said he is isolated and feeling well) as well as four cases newly announced by the Polish Ministry of Health – people who have been quarantined and are not considered to be at high risk for serious complications.
In Poland overall, there have been 684 confirmed cases since the first patient tested positive in Zielona Góra on 4 March. Eight people have died.
Most people infected by COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms and make a recovery. However, it poses a risk especially for people who are older or who have compromised immune systems, who could be overwhelmed by symptoms or complications such as pneumonia which may accompany the virus.
In Krakow, the Jagiellonian University Hospital has closed four departments at its new location and quarantined patients and staff members because of detected cases there. Due to the closure of part of the military hospital in Krakow due to renovation, it is currently the best equipped to treat local patients.
For its part, the Krakow city government has freed up 5.2 million PLN of its (18 million total) crisis management budget to help improve the situation. Some of it will help regional hospitals, while the bulk (3 million) will go to Krakow’s waste management department (MPO) in order to help them disinfect streets, squares, public buildings, and sanitation workers.
The city has advised caretakers not to take their children to public playgrounds. You can also avoid contracting/spreading the disease by washing your hands often, avoiding touching your face, and limiting contact with other people and public surfaces.
The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, tiredness, and dry cough. If you think you might be infected, health experts recommend quarantining yourself at home and stay in touch with your doctor about when/how to visit a hospital to get treatment if your symptoms require it.