Poland reports new daily record of 132 COVID-related deaths

People are tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a drive-thru testing centre in Warsaw, Poland

Poland on Friday reported a new daily record of 132 coronavirus-related deaths and counted 7,705 new confirmed cases, amid fears the pandemic is testing the country’s supply of hospital beds and ventilators.

The government urged Poles to travel outside of the country only if absolutely necessary, following another daily record of 8,099 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday.

“We are issuing a recommendation to our compatriots for them to consider if they must travel across borders, if this is absolutely necessary for familial or professional reasons,” Deputy Foreign Minister Piotr Wawrzyk told a news conference.

Authorities on Thursday introduced new restrictions, including closing all gyms and pools and placing limits on the size of weddings or banning them altogether in some regions.

The government has said that it is trying to avoid a total lockdown, but further restrictions are not ruled out if cases keep increasing.

The continuing climb in deaths comes amidst fears of a shortage of medical personnel as well as equipment. As it stands, 6,980 hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients and 540 ventilators are in use, according to the health ministry.

Almost 51,000 tests were carried out in the last 24 hours, the health ministry said.

The medical community has criticised the Polish government for not doing enough to prevent the second wave of the pandemic, which has hit Poland and the region much harder than the first wave did.

Poland now has 157,608 confirmed coronavirus cases and 3,440 deaths.

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