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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland reports 22,464 new coronavirus cases, 626 more deaths

20.11.2020 10:40
Poland on Friday reported 22,464 new coronavirus infections and 626 more deaths, bringing its total number of cases to 819,262 and fatalities to 12,714.
Coronavirus in Poland: A makeshift hospital under construction to treat coronavirus patients in the city of Płock, some 100 km northwest of Warsaw.
Coronavirus in Poland: A makeshift hospital under construction to treat coronavirus patients in the city of Płock, some 100 km northwest of Warsaw.Photo: PAP/Szymon Łabiński

Of the new cases confirmed by public health officials on Friday, 2,679 were in the central region of Mazowieckie, which contains the national capital Warsaw.

Meanwhile, 2,666 new infections were reported in the southern coal mining region of Silesia.

The western province of Wielkopolskie, which is home to the major city of Poznańhad the third-highest number of new infections confirmed by officials on Friday, at 2,258.

The latest deaths in Poland’s coronavirus outbreak are 477 people with pre-existing medical conditions and 149 who died directly because of COVID-19, the Polish health ministry said in a tweet.

On Thursday, Poland reported 23,975 fresh coronavirus infections and a record 637 new deaths, its worst daily toll since the start of the pandemic.

On WednesdayPoland confirmed 19,883 infections and 603 deaths, its third-highest daily number of fatalities since the start of the pandemic.

On Saturday, November 7, the Polish health ministry reported a record 27,875 new single-day cases, the most since the pandemic hit the country in early March.

22,643 in hospitals, 408,567 quarantined

The health ministry announced on Friday morning that 22,643 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals nationwide, 2,135 of them on ventilators, with a further 408,567 people quarantined for possible coronavirus exposure, and 23,153 under epidemiological supervision.

Meanwhile, 381,800 people have now recovered from COVID-19 throughout the country, including 19,914 over the last 24 hours, the health ministry also said.

Tougher measures to battle COVID-19 came into effect across Poland earlier this month following a surge in cases amid a second wave of the pandemic.

Shopping malls have been ordered to limit their operations until at least November 29, though some retail outlets, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and drugstores, are allowed to stay open to customers.

Hotels are only able to take in guests on business trips. Theatres, cinemas, museums and galleries have been told to close temporarily.

Schools and universities throughout the country have returned to distance learning.

Under restrictions announced last month, children under 16 are only allowed to leave their homes under the supervision of an adult between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, pubs, restaurants and cafes are only allowed to provide take-aways and delivery orders.

Gatherings of more than five people have been forbidden, though people who live or work together are exempt from the rule.

Also, the government has appealed to people aged over 70 not to leave their homes unless necessary.

Poland last month 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 last month under which everyone is required to wear a face covering when going out in public.

Beginning October 10, people must cover their mouths and noses when outdoors in public places as well as in most indoor environments nationwide.

Amid an escalating outbreak, the country has decided to set up a network of temporary hospitals to treat coronavirus patients.

With 277 COVID-19 deaths per million population, Poland remains less affected by the coronavirus epidemic than some other countries in Europe, recent statistics have shown.

To compare, Belgium has 1,242 deaths per million residents since the start of the pandemic, according to data released by the Polish health ministry earlier this week, while Spain has 882 and Britain reports 767.

Poland’s prime minister said last week that millions of vaccines against the coronavirus were likely to reach his country next spring as part of a European deal with drug makers.

The European Union in the middle of last week struck a deal to buy up to 300 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine from US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last Friday that his government has set up a working group with experts from Pfizer amid efforts to make a COVID-19 vaccine available to Poles as quickly as possible.

At the end of last week, Morawiecki also talked with executives from global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca as part of efforts to secure a COVID-19 vaccine for Poland, state news agency PAP has reported.

Meanwhile, US drug maker Moderna announced on Monday that its experimental vaccine was 94.5 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial.

The European Commission on Tuesday authorized a deal with German biotech firm CureVac to secure up to 405 million doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine for European citizens.

EU officials have voiced hope for a deal with Moderna soon.

Data published on Thursday showed that AstraZeneca and Oxford University's potential COVID-19 vaccine produced a strong immune response in older adults, with researchers expecting to release late-stage trial results by Christmas, according to a report by the Reuters news agency.

(gs)

Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info