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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland's coronavirus cases rise to 31,620, deaths up to 1,346: health ministry

20.06.2020 11:00
A total of 31,620 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Poland, with 1,346 deaths from the COVID-19 respiratory disease so far, officials said on Saturday.
Polands Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski briefs reporters on Friday.
Poland's Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski briefs reporters on Friday.Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

The number of new virus cases rose by 309 from the previous day, while the death toll increased by 12, according to public health authorities.

Of the new cases confirmed on Saturday, 114 were in the country's southern Silesia coal region, where infections have spiked in mines.

Meawhile, 52 new cases were reported in the central Mazowieckie province, which includes the capital Warsaw.

The latest deaths in Poland’s coronavirus outbreak are six men aged 62 to 80 and six women aged 78 to 90, the Polish health ministry said in a tweet.

It added that most of these patients had pre-existing medical conditions.

The health ministry announced on Saturday that 1,931 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals nationwide, 72 of them on ventilators, with a further 96,795 people quarantined for possible coronavirus exposure, and 18,611 under epidemiological supervision.

Meanwhile, 16,182 people have recovered from COVID-19 throughout the country, the health ministry also said.

'State of epidemic'

The first infection was confirmed by Polish authorities on March 4, while the country's first coronavirus fatality was announced on March 12.

Poland has since declared a "state of epidemic" and temporarily closed its borders to non-residents in a move to curb the spread of the illness.

International scheduled flights and passenger rail connections were suspended on March 15.

In another effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, the government banned public gatherings and closed all pubs, clubs and restaurants.

Health and government officials urged Poles to stay home and practice social distancing.

People were ordered to wear masks or other face coverings when out in public.

Easing of restrictions

Some restrictions were relaxed in late April, and hotels and shopping malls were allowed to reopen in early May as the country moved to the next phase of easing its coronavirus lockdown.

Hairdressers, beauty parlours, restaurants, bars and cafes were allowed to reopen to customers in the middle of last month.

Poland relaxed face mask rules at the end of last month, and it also allowed public gatherings of up to 150 people.

In another move to ease coronavirus measures, the government lifted restrictions on how many people can gather in places such as retail outlets, restaurants and churches though face coverings and social distancing are still required.

Nurseries and preschools throughout the country have been given the green light to resume operations.

Poland has also reopened outdoor sports areas and allowed football matches to be played behind closed doors in late May.

Culture and entertainment venues as well as indoor sports facilities were allowed to restart their operations from June 6.

Elementary schools began reopening to young children at the end of last month as the country lifted more COVID-19 safety measures.

But most schools at all levels of education will stay shut to students until the end of the academic year on June 26, providing distance learning instead of in-person classes, following an announcement by Education Minister Dariusz Piontkowski.

Poland reopened its borders with its European Union neighbours at the end of last week.

The country reopened its skies for domestic flights on June 1, while international flights were allowed to resume from Wednesday.

Polish football stadiums have been allowed to reopen to spectators from Friday.

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info