Saturday, May 2, 2020

Pandemic: Brussels nearly caused a tragedy in Poland

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Based on an article published by J. Bielecki at portal If the Polish authorities listened to the European Commission and abstained from closing the borders, the number of pandemic victims in their country would be immeasurably greater. Believes Thomas Czypionka, head of the health policy department at the prestigious Viennese Institute of Advanced Studies.

EC's opposition to the closing of borders of Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic and other Central European countries was a total mistake - said Czypionka. - The first thing Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore did after the news of the epidemic was to introduce checks on people coming from China. This was a key element in controlling the plague. Unfortunately, the European Commission does not take into account the specifics of each of the member states - said the Austrian scientist.

On March 15 Poland introduced a ban on the entry of foreigners into the country while Poles returning home were ordered to quarantine. Eight other EU countries made a similar decision, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and Latvia.

On March 26, the 25th anniversary of the Schengen agreement, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen criticized this strategy and demanded that it was lifted.

So far, at the end of April, in Spain there were at least 517 deaths per million inhabitants due to a pandemic, in Italy 453, in France 353.  In the Central European countries the rates are dramatically different. In Poland there were 16 deaths per million, in Slovakia 4, and 21 in the Czech Republic.

According to Czypionka, the key element of this success was the rapid and radical response of the governments to the pandemic. It is still unclear who advised president Von der Leyen to take such action and whether anybody will be held accountable.