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Although the Minister of Health talks about reaching the moment of solstice of the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, the epidemic situation in Poland does not inspire any optimism. Hospitals are already fully occupied and the growing number of infected people requiring hospitalisation is steadily increasing. More wards with covid beds are already opening. However, a new variant of the coronavirus, which has already appeared in Europe, could prove an additional challenge.
According to Minister of Health Adam Niedzielski, with a growth rate of only 6.5% in the number of infections, it can be concluded that Poland is reaching the moment of solstice of the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections. However, the risk of an increased number of infections has emerged with a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 called omicron. In response to this additional risk factor, the Health Minister convened a crisis team to review the situation with a view to sealing the borders.
As the Minister of Health explains, people who travel to Poland from countries where the presence of the new Covid-19 variant has been confirmed will be subject to forced quarantine. The Ministry is currently working to establish a list of countries the travel from which will be associated with the quarantine from the beginning of December. Importantly, travellers will be able to be exempted from it if they are vaccinated or take a test.
The Minister stressed that the new Covid-19 variant will not result in the imposition of any major restrictions, such as school closures. For now, the Ministry is only considering imposing minimal restrictions, including limits in shopping centres.
According to information as of 29 November provided by the Deputy Head of the Ministry of Health, the number of new SARS-CoV-2 infections was 13,000, while 18 people have died from Covid-19. However, it is worth remembering that these are data after the weekend when the number of tests performed decreases. As Waldemar Kraska, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Health, points out, the growing number of hospitalizations should not be underestimated. Currently, there are more than 20,500 patients in hospitals who are struggling with Covid-19 infection. Only within 24 hours, the number of hospitalized patients increased by 454 people. Waldemar Kraska also added that more than 1,800 patients are in intensive care units as they require ventilator support.