Poland's PGG to test 4,000 workers for COVID-19

Polish thermal coal producer Polska Grupa Górnicza (PGG) has begun mass drive-through virus testing this week after three of its mines were suspended due to hundreds of workers testing positive for COVID-19.
Poland's PGG to test 4,000 workers for COVID-19 Poland's PGG to test 4,000 workers for COVID-19 Poland's PGG to test 4,000 workers for COVID-19 Poland's PGG to test 4,000 workers for COVID-19 Poland's PGG to test 4,000 workers for COVID-19

A hoist tower at Katowice mine

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PGG on Thursday launched testing of workers from its Rybnik, Gliwice and Katowice mines, all located in the Upper Silesia region. Earlier this week, the state-owned firm suspended production at the Sośnica-Makoszowy, Jankowice and Murcki-Staszic mines in Lower Silesia until May 10, after 360 workers were infected in the region and almost 1,500 put into quarantine.

Local governor of Silesia, Jarosław Wieczorek, said 1,000 employees would be tested on Thursday with 3,000 more to be screened in the following days.

"Miners drive their cars up to a tent, and do not leave the vehicles. They just leave the window open and specialised medical staff take a throat swab. The samples go to the laboratory for testing," said Wieczorek.

PGG produces almost 30 million tonnes of coal annually from eight mines in southern Poland.

In late April, trade unions warned in a statement that PGG could collapse after the company asked workers to accept a cut in hours and pay of up to 20% for three months to ensure its survival.