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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland records 13,628 COVID-19 cases, its second highest daily total

24.10.2020 10:45
Poland reported 13,628 new cases on Saturday, the second-highest number of daily additional infections on record since the pandemic hit the country in early March.
A field hospital is being set up at the National Stadium in Warsaw to treat potential coronavirus patients. Warsaw, 23 October.
A field hospital is being set up at the National Stadium in Warsaw to treat potential coronavirus patients. Warsaw, 23 October.Photo: PAP/Andrzej Lange

Public health authorities in the country also reported 179 new fatalities on Saturday, the highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic.

Of the new cases confirmed on Saturday, 2,026 were in the central region of Mazowieckie, which contains the national capital Warsaw.

Meanwhile, 1,482 new infections were reported in the southern province of Małopolskie, which includes the historic city of Kraków.

The Wielkopolska region, west-central Poland, had the third-highest number of new infections confirmed by officials on Saturday, at 1,472.

The latest deaths in Poland’s coronavirus outbreak are 150 people with pre-existing medical conditions and 29 who died directly because of COVID-19, the country's health ministry said in a tweet.

A total of 241,946 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Poland since the pandemic began, and 4,351 have died in connection with the COVID-19 respiratory disease so far, officials announced.

On Friday, Poland reported 13,632 fresh coronavirus infections nationwide and 168 new deaths.

11,496 in hospitals, 478,761 quarantined

The latest report comes amid other bleak patterns including a significant increase in the number of hospital admissions and patients on ventilators.

The health ministry announced on Saturday morning that 11,496 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals nationwide, 911 of them on ventilators, with a further 478,761 people quarantined for possible coronavirus exposure, and 57,802 under epidemiological supervision.

Meanwhile, 109,344 people have now recovered from COVID-19 throughout the country, including 4,252 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.

(ał/gs)

Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info