More than two-thirds of Poland’s medical advisory body on COVID-19 have resigned, saying the government is disregarding their advice in its pandemic measures
WARSAW, Poland — More than two-thirds of Poland’s COVID-19 medical advisory body resigned on Friday, saying the government was disregarding their advice in its response to the pandemic.
In a statement, 13 of the 17 board members said that with “increasing frustration” they were experiencing a “lack of political opportunity to introduce the best and globally tested methods to fight the pandemic”. .
They also complained of a “growing tolerance” in government for state officials downplaying the threat of the pandemic or the need for vaccination.
The mass resignation comes days after a regional education official was criticized for describing the COVID-19 vaccination as an “experiment”. The right-wing government ignored calls for his removal.
In a letter to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, outgoing board members said “very limited action” had been taken during the fall surge and against the continuing threat of the fast-spreading omicron variant, “despite huge number of deaths expected”.
Morawiecki’s office responded by saying that in its decisions, the government must take into account various differing opinions also from business people, educators and others. He said the formula for the advisory body would be changed, but gave no details.
In response to a spike in infections from omicron, the Polish government introduced restrictions on access to indoor public spaces, but avoided an outdoor lockdown or mask mandate.
Poland has recorded more than 100,000 virus-related deaths and less than 60% of the population of 38 million are vaccinated.
The council advises the government on action and legislation to combat the pandemic.
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