Auschwitz museum calls to halt visits from countries infected with virus
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Auschwitz museum calls to halt visits from countries infected with virus

No cases have yet emerged in Poland, though officials say they are likely to appear soon amid global spread of pathogen

Visitors walk through the infamous gate reading 'Arbeit Macht Frei,' or 'work will make you free,' at the former site of Auschwitz-Birkenau, January 28, 2020. (Yaakov Schwartz/Times of Israel)
Visitors walk through the infamous gate reading 'Arbeit Macht Frei,' or 'work will make you free,' at the former site of Auschwitz-Birkenau, January 28, 2020. (Yaakov Schwartz/Times of Israel)

Administrators of the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum have called for people from countries infected with the coronavirus to stop visiting the site.

Noting in a Wednesday statement on its website that so far no cases of the virus have been confirmed in Poland, the museum said, “We have not noted any alarming situations, but the Museum is monitoring this issue on an ongoing basis.

And it said it had recommended travel agencies and organizers of trips to the memorial to desist from the arrival of people from places found to be infected.

Earlier this week Israel halted Israeli high school students’ educational trips to historical Holocaust sites in Poland due to the global spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Poland has yet to report any cases, but Warsaw officials have said infections will likely appear.

Tens of thousands of Israeli high school students visit Poland every year to learn about the history of the Holocaust. The students visit Nazi sites associated with the genocide of European Jewry such as the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp site, and are often accompanied by survivors who recount their stories.

The virus has now proliferated around the globe, emerging in every continent except Antarctica, and prompting many governments and businesses to try to stop people traveling or gathering in crowded places.

The virus has killed more than 2,800 people and infected more than 83,000 worldwide since late December — most of them in China.

New cases have emerged across Europe, many linked to the continent’s coronavirus hotspot in northern Italy, amid warnings from health experts to rein in hysteria as the virus continues its march beyond China’s borders.

AFP contributed to this report.

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