“We are getting ready for a third wave of coronavirus infections, which may occur sometime in January or February,” Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska told the media at the weekend.
He added that the two winter months usually marked the peak of the flu season in the country “so the risk of catching an infection may then be higher.”
"We are making preparations because experts have been warning that such a third wave of COVID-19 cases may arrive,” Kraska told broadcaster Polsat News on Saturday.
He said the government was building temporary hospitals and keeping some of them on standby "in order to be prepared for the eventuality of a third wave.”
Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski last week warned that the chances of the country being hit by a third wave of the coronavirus would be greater if people did not spend the school winter break at home.
Kraska said this month that a first batch of newly developed COVID-19 vaccines could arrive in Poland in December, amid optimistic progress reports from several international drug makers.
Kraska told a news conference earlier this year that citizens were well advised to get vaccinated against the flu, especially as it caused symptoms similar to COVID-19.
He told reporters at the time that a combination of a busy flu season with an increased incidence of COVID-19 cases could place an excessive strain on the country’s health service, making it difficult for doctors to distinguish between the two diseases due to similar symptoms.
A total of 985,075 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Poland since the start of the pandemic, and 17,029 have died in connection with the COVID-19 respiratory disease so far, officials said on Sunday.
On Wednesday, November 25, officials reported a record 674 new deaths linked to the coronavirus.
On Saturday, November 7, the Polish health ministry reported 27,875 new single-day cases, the most since the pandemic hit the country in early March.