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English Section

Poland enters fifth wave of COVID-19 pandemic: health minister

17.01.2022 23:30
Poland has entered a fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic amid the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said on Monday, warning that infections in the country could soon hit record levels.
Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski.
Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski.Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell

"We predict that infections will peak in mid-February and that peak will be at about 60,000 cases a day," Niedzielski told a news conference.

Poland on Monday reported 10,445 new coronavirus infections and four more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the country's total number of cases during the pandemic to 4,323,482 and fatalities to 102,309.

At the end of last week, 13 of the 17 members of the Polish prime minister's medical council on COVID-19 resigned, citing a lack of influence on government policy.

Niedzielski told reporters on Monday that a new advisory body would be established that would operate in a different form.

"The change will mainly be based on extending its format so there is a wider spectrum of experts who will assist and advise the prime minister," he said.

Public health authorities in the middle of last month confirmed Poland's first case of the omicron COVID-19 variant. Since then 670 more omicron cases have been detected, according to Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska.

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

On April 8, 2021, the country reported its highest daily toll of 954 deaths related to COVID-19.

On April 1, 2021, the Polish health ministry confirmed 35,251 new single-day cases, the most since the pandemic hit the country in early 2020.

Poland's first case of coronavirus infection was reported on March 4, 2020.


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters, TVP Info

Click on the audio player above for a report by Radio Poland's Elżbieta Krajewska.