Health minister: infections peak seems to be behind us
Poland seems to have passed a peak in the number of coronavirus infections, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said on Friday, adding that the country is still testing its health system capacity.
"If we look at the course of the number of new infections, it seems that the apogee of infections is behind us," Health Minister Adam Niedzielski told a press conference, warning against complacency.
"The pandemic is still a real threat and the fact that we see some slight falls is absolutely not a signal which would allow us to think that we have the worst behind... Now we will have to do with an apogee, so to say, in hospitals," he said.
Poland reported 28,487 new coronavirus cases on Friday, compared with a record 35,251 on April 1. The country of 38 million also reported on Friday 768 coronavirus-related deaths, the second highest number since the start of the pandemic.
Some Polish doctors and nurses are just taking naps between shifts as they fight a third wave of the coronavirus, the health minister said on Friday, amid reports of medical staff taking oxygen and intravenous drips to boost their energy.
"These are the toughest, the most difficult pictures, which reflect the burden of this work," Niedzielski told private radio RMF 24 earlier on Friday.
"This is indeed a war and the situation requires non-standard behaviours," he added.
"When I visited a temporary hospital in Katowice I saw doctors and nurses sleeping to rest in between their shifts. The intensity of work is significant, which results from the deficit of personnel," Niedzielski explained.
Poland reported record high numbers of new cases last week at around 35,000 a day and on Wednesday the government extended restrictions until April 18, keeping kindergartens, schools, shopping centres, hotels, cinemas and theatres closed.
The previous 24-hour death record was 674, reported in November. On Thursday Poland reported 27,887 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total to almost 2.5 million.
Since the start of the pandemic Poland has reported 2,528,006 infection cases and 57,427 deaths.
Prime Minister's top aide MIchał Dworczyk announced on Friday that not only doctors, but also dentists, nurses, paramedics and pharmacists would be allowed to qualify people for vaccinations.
From now on, it will be enough to fill in a questionnaire in order to get vaccinated. As long as there are no concerns, patients will receive shots, and if there are, they will be referred to a doctor for further examination.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Adam Guz/KPRM