Polish COVID-19 advisers quit in protest at government ‘limited efforts’

WARSAW: Thirteen out of 17 members of the Polish Medical Council advising the Prime Minister on COVID-19 resigned on Friday January 15, state news agency PAP reported, condemning what they called a lack of scientific influence on the Politics.

Even with one of the highest per capita death rates in the world, Poland has introduced much more limited measures than many other European countries to curb the spread of coronavirus during the latest wave of infections.

“The disconnect between scientific and medical logics and practice has become particularly acute in the context of very limited efforts in the face of the autumn wave and then the threat of the Omicron variant, despite the enormous number of deaths expected, “said the 13 advice. the members said in a statement delivered to the PAP.

The Polish government said it often had to deal with opposing opinions from various bodies, not just those of councillors.

“It is the government’s role to make decisions based on the differing views of experts – the Medical Council, economists, experts from other areas affected by the outbreak,” the government said in a statement. published online.

He said the board’s ways of operating would change, without elaborating.

VACCINATION HESITATION

Poland has vaccinated 56.4% of the population, well below the level of the European Union as a whole and reluctance to vaccinate is widespread, especially in the conservative rural areas which form the heartland of government.

Enforcement of the limited restrictions in place, such as wearing masks in enclosed spaces or limiting numbers in bars and restaurants, is very lax.

The total number of deaths from COVID-19 topped 100,000 this week, with doctors blaming low vaccination rates and an unwillingness to follow regulations.

“We have observed a growing tolerance for the behavior of people who deny the risk posed by COVID-19 and the importance of vaccinations in the fight against the pandemic, which has also been reflected in statements by members. of the government or officials,” said the resigner. wrote the board members.

While ministers have repeatedly called on Poles to get vaccinated, the government’s recent refusal to fire an education official who called vaccinations an “experiment” has been widely condemned by doctors.

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