Adam Niedzielski made the statement in a media interview on Thursday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
Speaking to public broadcaster Polish Radio in the eastern city of Lublin, the health minister was asked about the possible end of the coronavirus pandemic.
He replied that if the end meant “zero cases and new infections,” then “this won’t happen for a long time yet.”
Niedzielski added: “However, if the end means that COVID-19 no longer blocks our social and economic life, then indeed we are approaching a stage where we’ll be able to say that, thanks to vaccination and medicines, which are also slowly emerging, we have this situation under control.”
‘Impact of new COVID-19 cases on hospitals is relatively small’
Niedzielski said that “despite thousands of new infections a day, the impact on hospitals is relatively small" at the moment.
“According to the latest reports, we have some 3,500 hospitalisations throughout the country, of which only 50 to 60 patients are on ventilators,” he said.
By contrast, “hospital cases were exceeding 20,000 during previous waves, and the figure included 2,000 to 3,000 people on ventilators,” Niedzielski added.
New COVID-19 wave ‘not before end of year’
Asked about a possible new wave of infections, the health minister said: “If a new wave comes, it will come at the end of the year at the earliest, which means in two to three months’ time.”
He appealed: “Now is the best time to get vaccinated.”
Niedzielski cautioned that “anyone may still contract" COVID-19.
“The danger remains massive,” he said, adding: “If we want to have a relatively peaceful head, especially now when school has returned, when work has returned after the holidays, then this is the optimal time to get vaccinated.”
22 million Poles double-jabbed, 2 million double-boosted
The health minister said that so far, 22 million Poles have undergone the basic two-dose COVID-19 vaccination.
Meanwhile, 12 million Polish people "have taken one booster shot" and 2 million "have received the second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine," which was rolled out for the general population on September 16, Niedzielski announced, as reported by the PAP news agency.
Source: PAP, pulsmedycyny.pl