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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland confirms 3,211 new coronavirus cases, 29 more deaths

28.12.2020 10:45
Poland on Monday reported 3,211 new coronavirus infections and 29 more deaths, bringing its total number of cases to 1,261,010 and fatalities to 27,147.
The first vaccines for the coronavirus were administered in Poland on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, as part of a coordinated rollout across the European Union.
The first vaccines for the coronavirus were administered in Poland on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, as part of a coordinated rollout across the European Union.Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

Of the new cases confirmed on Monday, 409 were in the central region of Mazowieckie, which includes the national capital Warsaw.

Meanwhile, 404 new infections were reported in the northern province of Pomorskie, which contains the Baltic port city of Gdańsk.

The western province of Wielkopolskie, which is home to the major city of Poznań, had the third-highest number of new infections confirmed by officials on Monday, at 309.

The latest deaths in Poland’s coronavirus outbreak are 28 people with pre-existing medical conditions and one person who died directly because of COVID-19, the Polish health ministry said in a tweet.

On Sunday, Poland confirmed 57 deaths and 3,678 new coronavirus infections nationwide, compared with 69 deaths and 5,048 fresh cases a day earlier.

On November 25, the country reported its highest daily toll of 674 deaths related to the coronavirus.

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

17,078 in hospitals, 141,744 quarantined

The health ministry announced on Monday morning that 17,078 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals nationwide, 1,599 of them on ventilators, with a further 141,744 people quarantined for possible coronavirus exposure, and 8,109 under epidemiological supervision.

Meanwhile, 1,005,376 people have now recovered from COVID-19 throughout the country, including 5,776 over the last 24 hours, the health ministry also said.

Poland goes into national quarantine

Poland on Monday entered a three-week national quarantine as it struggles to contain the coronavirus.

Shopping malls have been ordered to close until January 17, though some retail outlets, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, are allowed to stay open.

Hotels and ski slopes will be shut to the general public throughout that period, and anyone arriving in Poland by public transportation will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine.

Second wave hits hard

The new set of curbs comes after tougher measures to battle COVID-19 took effect across Poland last month following a surge in cases amid a second wave of the pandemic.

As part of those restrictions, theatres, cinemas, museums, galleries and gyms were told to close temporarily.

Meanwhile, schools and universities throughout the country have returned to distance learning.

Under restrictions announced in October, 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 in October introduced special shopping hours for people aged over 60 between 10 a.m. and noon.

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 set up a network of temporary hospitals to treat coronavirus patients.

Meanwhile, those testing positive for COVID-19 are being monitored remotely from their homes using special finger-clip devices called pulse oximeters, under an initiative announced by the country’s health minister at the end of last month.

Warnings of 'third wave'

Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska told the media at the end of last month that Poland was preparing to handle a possible "third wave" of the coronavirus pandemic early next year.

Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski warned this month that "the spectre of a third wave is very real."

Poland's Health Minister Adam Niedzielski. Poland's Health Minister Adam Niedzielski. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

With 673 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 1,604 deaths per million residents since the start of the pandemic, according to data released by the Polish health ministry last Tuesday, while Italy has 1,146 and Spain reports 1,053.

Vaccinations under way 

Meanwhile, a 52-year-old Warsaw hospital nurse on Sunday became the first Pole to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The first batch of 10,000 vaccine doses arrived in the country a day earlier.

On Monday, a new shipment of 300,000 doses reached Poland by air.

The government has launched a media campaign called Szczepimy Się (Let's Get Vaccinated) to encourage Poles to get COVID-19 shots.

The immunization effort began after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) last Monday recommended conditional approval for a coronavirus vaccine produced by US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech for use across the European Union.

The decision by the EU regulator was subsequently greenlighted by the bloc’s executive, the European Commission.

Polish officials have said they expect nearly 1.5 million coronavirus vaccine doses to reach their country by the end of January.

Frontline healthcare workers are first in line to be vaccinated, followed by pensioners in nursing homes, people over 60, police, soldiers and teachers.

Citizens who are not in priority groups will be able to sign up for COVID-19 shots from January 15.

Poland plans to spend PLN 3 billion (EUR 675m, USD 820m) on over 60 million doses of coronavirus vaccines under a national inoculation programme adopted by the government.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced earlier this month that his government had secured vaccines for the Polish population from six leading international drug makers.

Around 8,000 vaccination sites are expected to be available to citizens nationwide as the country rolls out its COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Photo: Photo: PAP/EPA/BIONTECH SE/HANDOUT

The European Union, of which Poland is part, has struck deals to secure vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTechAstraZenecaModernaCureVacSanofi-GSK, and Johnson & Johnson, taking its potential stock of COVID-19 shots to nearly 2 billion, news agencies have reported.

The European Medicines Agency is expected to produce a scientific opinion on Moderna's vaccine seeking regulatory approval on January 6.

Britain on December 2 became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for general use, with the first shots administered to citizens six days later.

(gs)

Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info