WARSAW, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Polish President Andrzej Duda appealed to citizens to follow all instructions given by the authorities and behave in line with common sense regarding the COVID-19 epidemic on Tuesday evening.
"When confronted by a threat, it is important to behave responsibly," he said during a televised speech. "We shouldn't panic, but we also shouldn't put our fellow citizens in possible danger."
Duda addressed the nation on the day when the government announced additional measures to contain the coronavirus.
So far, the country has confirmed 22 COVID-19 cases. One person tested positive is a general in the Polish armed forces, the Ministry of Defence announced Tuesday.
All mass events are canceled, while the authorities conduct health inspections at all points of entry. These include inspections at road border crossings with other European Union (EU) countries, where traffic normally passes unhindered.
Duda, supported by the ruling conservative Law and Justice party in the May 10 presidential elections, suspended on Monday public campaign events because of the coronavirus.
Poznan, where one patient has been admitted with COVID-19 and whose condition is described as serious, was the first major city in Poland on Monday to close schools, preschools, swimming pools and other public places for at least two weeks.
The immediate reason is that the infected woman did not travel abroad recently and has in all probability contracted the virus locally.
Meanwhile, businesses and institutions are taking their own measures to prepare for a possible wider outbreak in the country.
A number of businesses with multiple branches, including banks, have divided their workforce over different locations to continue operations. Several universities, including the Jagiellonian University in Krakow and the University of Warsaw, have canceled lectures.