Poland’s incoming education minister tests positive for coronavirus

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s incoming education minister said on Monday he had tested positive for coronavirus, as new cases in Poland have continued to reach records over the past week.

Przemyslaw Czarnek, 43, announced he had been infected ahead of an event at the presidential palace, where President Andrzej Duda was expected to confirm new ministers after a government reshuffle announced last week.

“I was tested this morning due to a headache so as not to expose the President, the cabinet and other participants in today’s events. I feel good. Don’t underestimate the symptoms,” Czarnek, said in a tweet posted on Monday.

Poland on Saturday reached a record of new daily coronavirus infections. As of Monday, Poland had a total of 102,080 confirmed cases and 2,659 deaths.

“We do not expect the situation to change drastically in the coming days. We will likely be observing results at the level of 2,000 cases and above …,” a health ministry spokesman said on Monday at a news conference.

“Coronavirus doesn’t pick, everyone goes through the same procedure,” the spokesman added, commenting Czarnek’s announcement.

Czarnek, a vocal critic of the spread of “LGBT ideology”, took part in an event last week during which Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced the government reshuffle, with many of the new ministers present.

A government spokesman was not immediately available to comment on whether the prime minister and the other ministers present were planning to be tested.

Government spokesman Piotr Muller on Monday said the number of wedding guests allowed in Poland’s so-called green zones, where coronavirus cases are the lowest, could be reduced, but Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said in a newspaper interview that a nationwide lockdown was not being planned.

Reporting by Joanna Plucinska and Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Alex Richardson

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