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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland's COVID-19 cases hit new daily high of 13,632

23.10.2020 10:45
Poland reported a record rise in coronavirus infections for the third consecutive day on Friday, confirming 13,632 new cases, the most since the pandemic hit the country in early March.
Paramedics at work amid a coronavirus outbreak in the eastern Polish city of Lublin, Oct. 22, 2020.
Paramedics at work amid a coronavirus outbreak in the eastern Polish city of Lublin, Oct. 22, 2020.Photo: PAP/Wojtek Jargiło

The death toll increased by 153, according to public health authorities.

A total of 228,318 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Poland since the pandemic began, and 4,172 have died in connection with the COVID-19 respiratory disease so far, officials announced.

Of the new cases confirmed on Friday, 2,075 were in the central region of Mazowieckie, which contains the national capital Warsaw.

Meanwhile, 1,554 new infections were reported in the southern province of Małopolskie, which includes the historic city of Kraków.

The neighboring Silesia coal mining region had the third-highest number of new infections confirmed by officials on Friday, at 1,305.

The latest deaths in Poland’s coronavirus outbreak are 137 people with pre-existing medical conditions and 16 who died directly because of COVID-19, the country's health ministry said in a tweet.

On Thursday, Poland reported 12,107 fresh coronavirus infections nationwide and 168 new deaths, its highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic.

10,788 in hospitals, 398,851 quarantined

The health ministry announced on Friday morning that 10,788 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals nationwide, 851 of them on ventilators, with a further 398,851 people quarantined for possible coronavirus exposure, and 52,753 under epidemiological supervision.

Meanwhile, 105,092 people have now recovered from COVID-19 throughout the country, including 2,888 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.

Officials this week announced plans to tighten restrictions and extend them to cover the entire country.

At the beginning of this week, secondary schools and universities in "red-zone" areas, among them Warsaw, switched to distance learning.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has since said that he wants classes for older primary school students nationwide to be held remotely or in “hybrid” form starting next week.

Polish lawmakers on Thursday approved a string of measures aiming to help the authorities battle the escalating coronavirus epidemic, including double pay for medics who have to treat COVID-19 patients.

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 outbreak, 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.

(gs)

Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info