Today’s coronavirus update includes news on PPE running out, shockingly low pay for doctors, and Biedronka’s cunning checkout plan.
As the coronavirus inevitably exacerbates, the news is coming thick and fast. Here are just some of the local coronavirus stories that have broken in the last 24 hours:
Number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wrocław increases to 194
Today the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wrocław has increased from 179 to 194.
Across Poland, the coronavirus case count currently stands at 3,503.
75 people have sadly died in Poland as a result of the virus.
Biedronka to create ‘mobile checkouts’ to allow in more customers
A leaked email appears to show Biedronka’s cunning plan to get around the government’s restrictions on how many people can enter a shop.
At present, only 3 people per checkout are allowed into stores. In a number of cases, this has resulted in long queues of customers waiting to get into supermarkets across the country.
According to the aforementioned email, Biedronka stores have been asked to create ‘mobile checkouts’ using shopping trolleys. Gazeta Wrocławska report that the checkouts will never actually be used by staff – they are merely there to get round the regulations and allow more people into Biedronka’s stores.
Supermarket bonuses widen earnings gap between medical staff and cashiers
A number of supermarkets have decided to give their staff bonus payments as a reward for their continued hard work during the coronavirus crisis.
Cashiers and other supermarket staff are putting their health at risk by coming into work day after day, so few people would argue that such bonuses are not deserved. The bonuses range from a few hundred to over a thousand złoty depending on what supermarket someone works for.
However, the bonuses also reveal the desperate plight of Poland’s junior doctors. Even before the crisis arrived, many junior doctors in Poland were receiving monthly salaries as much as 800zł lower than supermarket cashiers. Although salaries do compare from hospital to hospital, it is true that some doctors are earning around the minimum wage.
Given that the Polish Government have not given any similar bonuses to medical staff, some junior doctors on the coronavirus frontline now find themselves earning over 1,000zł less than cashiers. The same is true of some nurses as well, something that Professor Simon of Koszarowa hospital commented on earlier this week.
Back in 2017, many junior doctors went on hunger strike to call for better working conditions and increased investment in Poland’s health service. However, they failed to get enough support from the general public. As a result, the Polish Government easily won the battle and the demands from the strikers and protesters were not fully met.
Wrocławians preparing to spend Easter in their own homes
According to a report by tuwroclaw.com, most Wrocławians have decided to avoid large family gatherings this Easter Sunday. Although the government’s lockdown measures are due to end on Easter Saturday, an announcement on their extension is expected early next week.
A poll on the tuwroclaw.com website shows that just under 7% of respondents plan to spend Easter with their wider family. 60% say they will be with others in their household, while around 25% intend to spend Easter alone. Others are either unsure of their plans or will use video calls to keep in touch with family.
Yet another Wrocław hospital hit by coronavirus
Despite strict lockdown measures, coronavirus continues to spread in Wrocław – mainly in the city’s underfunded and badly equipped hospitals. Well over 60 medical staff and patients have already caught the virus due to clusters in two hospitals that do not treat coronavirus patients. Some blame a lack of PPE equipment for the outbreaks.
Now it has emerged that yet another hospital has been hit by the virus. This time a patient at Przylądek Nadzieli, an oncology hospital for children, has tested positive for coronavirus. The building is located on the site of Wrocław’s Clinical University Hospital on Borowska street, where coronavirus infections have been detected in multiple wards.
Coronavirus test results taking “longer than one week”
A shocking report from Gazeta Wyborcza claims that several patients in Wrocław have been waiting for over a week to discover if they have coronavirus. The patients have been self isolating at home, but are worried about those they may have come into contact with before they started to feel any symptoms.
PPE to run out in 4-5 days
Gazeta Wyborcza also report that a number of hospitals in Lower Silesia have just a few days’ worth of personal protective equipment left. According to the article, some staff are already having to having to dip into their own pockets to ensure they have essentials like disposable gloves.
Gazeta Wrocławska also write that doctors are having to tie plastic bags around their feet because there are no shoe covers available.
Forests closed to the public
As an additional social distancing measure, Poland’s forests have been closed to the public. Forest guards will be on patrol to ensure that people do not flout the ban, which is to be in place for another week at least.