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UPDATE: New swathe of restrictions in Poland amid COVID record

25.03.2021 12:21
Poland on Thursday announced a swathe of new COVID restrictions as officials reported another record daily rise in infections and the health minister warned the country was "in a crisis situation."
Audio
  • New swathe of restrictions in Poland amid COVID record
Health Minister Adam Niedzielski.
Health Minister Adam Niedzielski. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, meanwhile, said Poland was experiencing its most difficult moment in the pandemic, with over 70 percent of hospital beds with ventilators occupied.

He added that Poland's public health service was approaching the limits of its capacity to cope.

Under new rules that will kick in for two weeks from Saturday, large retail outlets and churches will be able to admit fewer people, hairdressers and beauty parlours will be shut, while kindergartens will be closed to children apart from those of medics, soldiers, police and firefighters.

Large furniture and building supply stores will be closed, while sports facilities will be open only to professional athletes.

'Crisis situation'

"We are in a crisis situation," said Health Minister Adam Niedzielski.

Earlier, Poland reported a record daily rise in coronavirus infections for the second consecutive day, confirming 34,151 new cases, the most since the pandemic hit the country just over a year ago.

Niedzielski told reporters that he expected an increase in the number of people being treated in hospital for COVID-19 over the next two weeks.


A temporary hospital for coronavirus patients at the National Stadium in Warsaw.   Photo: PAP/Andrzej Lange A temporary hospital for coronavirus patients at the National Stadium in Warsaw. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Lange

Shortage of medical staff

Morawiecki added that the problem was not a lack of medical equipment but a shortage of medical staff.

The new restrictions announced on Thursday toughen rules that came into force on March 20, when Poland went into a partial national lockdown for three weeks amid a resurgence of coronavirus infections.

(pk)

Source: PAP/IAR

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