Polish mining has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic particularly hard. With 83% of new cases reported on 12 May in the Silesia mining region, the pandemic poses a growing threat to both human life and industrial production.

Silesia is home to five coal mines where work has been suspended due to the virus. The region’s coal mines produced 43.8% of the country’s electricity in April, despite the spread of the virus, and there are concerns that Europe’s largest coal miner will struggle to replicate its industrial successes the longer the pandemic, and associated quarantine and lockdown measures, persists.

Earlier this week, deputy prime minister Jacek Sasin reported that 800 miners, and 650 family members of miners, have caught the virus in the mining region of Silesia alone. Poland has over 17,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, according to Worldometers, with 265 new cases and eight new deaths as of today.