Poland on Wednesday reported a total of 17,260 new cases of coronavirus over the past 24 hours — a record for this year — and said there had been 398 more virus-related deaths.
Health ministry spokesman Wojciech Andrusiewicz blamed the increase on the spread of the British strain as well as “increased looseness” among Poles in respecting virus restrictions.
The spokesman said an additional 1,500 beds for Covid-19 patients would be opened up around Poland in the coming days, including in some temporary hospitals.
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Government spokesman Piotr Muller said there had been a slight decrease in the rate of increase “but there is still a long way to go before we can say that the third wave has calmed down”.
Poland locked down at the start of the pandemic last year and was initially spared the worst, but it has been badly affected by a second wave at the end of last year and again this year.
The government last month eased restrictions, including reopening shopping centres, museums, hotels and theatres but it has been forced to reverse those changes in two northern regions in the past couple of weeks because of soaring case rates.
Officials are not ruling out further nationwide tightening.
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