A total of 157,608 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Poland since the pandemic began, and 3,440 have died in connection with the COVID-19 respiratory disease so far, officials announced.
Of the new cases confirmed on Friday, 1,105 were in the southern province of Małopolskie, which includes the historic city of Kraków.
Meanwhile, 911 new infections were reported in the central region of Mazowieckie, which contains the national capital Warsaw.
The southern Silesia coal mining region had the third-highest number of new infections confirmed by officials on Friday, at 769.
The latest deaths in Poland’s coronavirus outbreak are 120 people with pre-existing medical conditions and 12 who died directly because of COVID-19, the Polish health ministry said in a tweet.
On Thursday, Poland confirmed 91 deaths related to the coronavirus and a record 8,099 new infections, the most since the pandemic hit the country in early March.
On Wednesday, Poland reported 6,526 new coronavirus infections and its second-highest daily toll of 116 deaths related to the coronavirus.
6,980 in hospitals, 311,625 quarantined
The health ministry announced on Friday morning that 6,980 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals nationwide, 540 of them on ventilators, with a further 311,625 people quarantined for possible coronavirus exposure, and 41,498 under epidemiological supervision.
Meanwhile, 87,773 people have now recovered from COVID-19 throughout the country, including 2,185 over the last 24 hours, the health ministry also said.
Tougher measures to battle COVID-19 are set to be introduced in Poland, with the number of “red” zones - those with the most severe restrictions - increased to cover almost half the country.
Secondary schools and universities in such areas, which include Warsaw, will have to switch to distance learning, while wedding parties will not be allowed, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters on Thursday.
Poland on Thursday introduced special shopping hours for people aged over 60 between 10 a.m. and noon.
Amid a spike in coronavirus cases, strict new rules came into effect in the country last weekend under which everyone is required to wear a face covering when going out in public.
The new rules kicked in after officials last week announced a stepped-up battle against the coronavirus epidemic following a surge in both COVID-19 infections and deaths.
Beginning Saturday, October 10, people must cover their mouths and noses when outdoors in public places as well as in most indoor environments nationwide.
Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski this month vowed “zero tolerance” toward people who flout sanitary rules amid the spike in infections, warning that offenders would be "severely punished."
A senior official said on Monday that Poland was not ruling out introducing a state of emergency if the COVID-19 crisis worsened dramatically in the future.
With 80 COVID-19 deaths per million population, Poland remains far less affected by the coronavirus epidemic than many other countries in Europe, new statistics have shown.
To compare, Belgium has 878 deaths per million residents, according to data released by the Polish health ministry on Tuesday, while Spain has 708 and Britain reports 631.
Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info