COVID-19: Polish President Duda Tests Positive

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"The president yesterday was tested for the presence of coronavirus".

Polish President Andrzej Duda tested positive for the coronavirus Friday, a presidential minister said Saturday.

Mr Duda, 48, was tested on Friday and found to be positive, Blazej Spychalski announced on Saturday. New restrictions went into force on Saturday.

Protesters gathered without face masks, saying curbs are not needed and holding up banners saying "Let us work, and let us decide on our own". He said the president feels well and is in isolation.

Police said some protesters threw bottles and other objects at them, and that they were forced to respond.

Duda holds a mainly ceremonial role, but has the power to veto legislation.

They also accuse the Law and Justice party of seeking to exacerbate social conflicts to distract attention from soaring COVID-19 infection rates.

While it is unclear when Mr Duda contracted the virus, he had attended an event in Tallinn on Monday where he met Bulgarian President Rumen Radev who later went into quarantine.

He also met 19-year-old tennis star Iga Swiatek, victor of the French Open this year, to award her the Gold Cross of Merit for achievements in sport.

"If I had had any symptoms, please believe me, all meetings would have been canceled", Duda said, according to a translation published by the Associated Press. We carry out tests regularly.

On the same day, he also bestowed state honours on Iga Swiatek, the 19-year-old Polish tennis player who won the French Open this month, and her father and trainer, Tomasz Swiatek. The country has declared a nationwide "red zone", closing restaurants and bars nationwide, and limiting public gatherings to five people. Schools will remain open for children up to third grade, with older students moving to distance learning. However at one supermarket in central Warsaw, large numbers of elderly people were shopping freely. Private broadcaster TVN showed a footage of thousands of people marching in the streets of Gdansk.

Coronavirus infections have risen sharply recently in Poland.

The Health Ministry reported 179 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, taking the total toll to 4,351. The daily case count was the nation's second-highest of the pandemic after a record number set Friday.



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