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Poland to shorten COVID-19 quarantine, roll out free tests: PM

21.01.2022 13:15
Poland will shorten the COVID-19 quarantine period from 10 to seven days and roll out free tests in pharmacies from January 27, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday, after the country reported a record number of single-day infections.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.Photo: PAP/Albert Zawada

Morawiecki told a news conference in Warsaw that authorities would work to expand the number of hospital beds available to coronavirus patients to help deal with the spike in cases driven by the omicron variant of the virus

Poland reported a new record daily rise in coronavirus infections on Friday, confirming 36,665 new cases, the most since the pandemic hit the country almost two years ago.

The death toll increased by 248, according to public health authorities.

A total of 4,443,217 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Poland since the start of the pandemic, and 103,626 have died in connection with the COVID-19 respiratory disease so far, officials said on Friday.

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski told reporters that Poland could report a new daily high of more than 40,000 COVID-19 cases the next day.

He warned that coronavirus infections in the country would hit new records during the next few weeks, surpassing 60,000 daily cases and possibly approaching 140,000.

"We have been through a week that we can say has seen an explosion of the pandemic," Niedzielski said.

He has previously announced that the government will make remote working mandatory for public-sector employees as the country enters a fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic amid the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Public health authorities in the middle of last month confirmed Poland's first case of the omicron COVID-19 variant. By Friday morning, a total of 1,390 omicron cases had been detected nationwide, according to Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska.

A range of coronavirus restrictions took effect in the country in December as it seeks to fend off the new, highly contagious strain of the coronavirus.


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters