A total of 214,686 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Poland since the pandemic began, and 4,019 have died in connection with the COVID-19 respiratory disease so far, officials announced.
Of the new cases confirmed on Thursday, 1,579 were in the central region of Mazowieckie, which contains the national capital Warsaw.
Meanwhile, 1,516 new infections were reported in the western Wielkopolskie province, home to the major city of Poznań.
The country's southern Małopolskie region, which includes the historic city of Kraków, had the third-highest number of new infections confirmed by officials on Thursday, at 1,331.
The latest deaths in Poland’s coronavirus outbreak are 137 people with pre-existing medical conditions and 31 who died directly because of COVID-19, the Polish health ministry said in a social media post.
On Wednesday, Poland reported 130 deaths and 10,040 new coronavirus infections nationwide, compared with 107 deaths and 9,291 fresh cases a day earlier.
10,091 in hospitals, 378,348 quarantined
The health ministry announced on Thursday morning that 10,091 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals nationwide, 812 of them on ventilators, with a further 378,348 people quarantined for possible coronavirus exposure, and 47,314 under epidemiological supervision.
Meanwhile, 102,204 people have now recovered from COVID-19 throughout the country, including 3,320 over the last 24 hours, the health ministry also said.
Tougher measures to battle COVID-19 were introduced in Poland in the middle of this month, with the number of “red” zones - those with the most severe restrictions - increased to cover almost half the country.
At the beginning of this week, secondary schools and universities in such areas, among them Warsaw, switched to distance learning.
Poland last week introduced special shopping hours for people aged over 60 between 10 a.m. and noon.
Amid a spike in coronavirus cases, strict new rules came into effect in the country earlier this month under which everyone is required to wear a face covering when going out in public.
The new rules kicked in after officials announced a stepped-up battle against the coronavirus epidemic following a surge in both COVID-19 infections and deaths.
Beginning Saturday, October 10, people must cover their mouths and noses when outdoors in public places as well as in most indoor environments nationwide.
Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski this month vowed “zero tolerance” toward people who flout restrictions amid the spike in infections, warning that offenders would be "severely punished."
A senior official said at the start of last week that Poland was not ruling out introducing a state of emergency if the COVID-19 crisis worsened dramatically in the future.
Amid an escalating epidemic, the country has decided to set up a network of temporary hospitals to treat coronavirus patients.
With 96 COVID-19 deaths per million population, Poland remains far less affected by the coronavirus epidemic than many other countries in Europe, new statistics have shown.
To compare, Belgium has 897 deaths per million residents since the start of the pandemic, according to new data released by the Polish health ministry on Tuesday, while Spain has 727 and Britain reports 643.
Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info