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14 Dec, 2020 16:05

‘Risk is real’: Poland’s health minister suggests extending restrictions, warns of potential Covid-19 ‘third wave’

‘Risk is real’: Poland’s health minister suggests extending restrictions, warns of potential Covid-19 ‘third wave’

Poland may face a third wave of Covid-19 between January and February, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski has warned, saying it would be “much worse” than the previous ones as he called for a lockdown extension.

“In order to avoid a third wave I will recommend that the restrictions remain at the current level... I will recommend that they are extended until at least Jan 17,” Niedzielski told reporters after a meeting with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and President Andrzej Duda. 

The health minister warned that Poland faces a “real risk” of a third wave, which he predicted would hit the nation hard. 

Also on rt.com Poland to reopen shopping malls next week despite surge in Covid-19 cases

“The third wave starting at the level of about 10,000 [daily] cases would be much worse than the second one, which started at the level of about 1,000 cases [a day] and had its peak at around 28,000 [cases],” he wrote in a Twitter post, adding that “the decline in the daily cases number is slowing down.”

Poland previously shut down schools, restaurants and sports centers amid record rising infection numbers in November. The final decision on the extension of restrictions would be taken by the Government Crisis Management Team headed by the prime minister. 

The nation also plans to launch its vaccination programme early next year and has already purchased over 60 million jabs, according to PM Morawiecki. The plan is to vaccinate the entire adult population of around 30 million people and authorities want to set up some 8,000 vaccination points across the country. 

Poland was only mildly affected by the coronavirus pandemic in spring 2020, but saw the infection cases skyrocketing in October. The peak was reached in the second half of November and the number of new cases has been gradually falling since.

The latest government data shows 4,896 new cases over the last 24 hours. The nation reported a total of 1,140,572 coronavirus cases and 22,960 deaths as of Monday. 

Also on rt.com ‘Time for great challenge’: Poland has 60mn doses of Covid-19 jabs & will start vaccination next year, PM says

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