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Poland's daily COVID-19 cases up by 70% past in week – deputy minister

FILE PHOTO: A paramedic is vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine as a one of the first people at a hospital in Warsaw, Poland December 27, 2020. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s daily COVID-19 cases have risen by around 70% in the past week to over 2,000, a government official said on Wednesday, warning the country that a fourth wave of the outbreak is gathering pace.

Poland’s health service was stretched to its limits in the spring by a third wave of the pandemic that saw daily cases exceed 35,000, but authorities believe vaccinations will help control the number of infections this autumn.

“Today’s data is a very fast flashing red light,” Waldemar Kraska, a deputy health minister, told public broadcaster Polskie Radio 1, adding that there were 2,085 cases reported on Wednesday.

“This is the last moment when we should get vaccinated, because the fourth wave is definitely accelerating, and in those regions where the number of vaccinated people is the lowest.”

Poland has seen the pace of its vaccination programme slow in recent months, and many people in rural southern and eastern regions have decided not to get vaccinated.

However, Kraska said the government was not planning to return to the large-scale restrictions on public life seen during previous waves of the pandemic.

“We do not plan any restrictions on the economy, if we do, we will pinpoint them, on the level of counties, towns,” he said.

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