Poland’s health minister underlined that the third wave of the epidemic, which has started in Poland, will pose a huge challenge to the medical personnel, because it can be even more threatening considering the discovery of two mutations of the virus in this country .
Speaking at a conference on Friday evening, minister Adam Niedzielski added that the South African variant of the virus has already been detected in Poland:
“The first case has been identified by the laboratory of the medical University in Białystok, and was detected in the region of Suwałki, north eastern Poland” said the health minister.
Adam Niedzielski said that the number of those infected with the British mutant of the virus is growing in Poland, at present it is over 10 percent of the patients suffering from COVID 19.
During the conference Adam Niedzielski also confirmed that discussions have opened on tightening the requirements on nose and mouth protection in Poland.
“We want to eliminate the use of makeshift face coverings like plastic face shields, scarves or bandanas, which do not guarantee enough protection. The Medical Council is to present its recommendations as to what kind of face masks will be allowed.”
Professor Andrzej Horban, the PM’s advisor on matters related to COVID 19 , has recommended that in use should only be professional surgical, disposable face masks made out of fabric, which effectively prevents contagion, nano-filtered face masks,or KN95 or FFP2 respirators.
At the conference minister Niedzielski also warned that the increase in the number of infections can be attributed not only to the new variants of the coronavirus in Poland , but also to the slackening in social discipline .
With the opening last week of hotels and ski slopes, major Polish mountain resorts saw an invasion of visitors. The same situation is also evident this weekend, police patrols have been intensified in the Tatra resort of Zakopane, which last weekend was besieged by tourists, partying on the streets, neglecting to observe the self-distancing rules.
Poland last month reopened schools for young children after a prolonged period of distance learning.
In a further easing of coronavirus curbs, shopping malls, museums and art galleries across the country were allowed to reopen early this month, while hotels, cinemas, theatres and open air sports facilities were given the green light in mid-February.
A host of other restrictions on public life, including the closure of restaurants and gyms, remain in place.