Authorities see tough times ahead as 3rd Covid-19 wave grips Poland

A sign reading "Attention. Stay at home with our beer" is seen on the window of a closed restaurant during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Sopot, Poland

Wojciech Andrusiewicz told journalists on Tuesday that the restrictions introduced by the ministry on Saturday are not expected to bring about results in just three or four days.

The Polish government imposed a new nationwide partial lockdown last Saturday, after the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic surpassed two million in the country.

“As seen in the Warmia-Mazury Province (in northeastern Poland), a minimum of two weeks is needed for the restrictions to slow down the pandemic,” he was quoted as saying by Polish Press Agency. “There are still quite difficult days and weeks ahead of us.”

He said that although the situation in Warmia-Mazury has not stabilised yet, it appears to be improving day by day. This, he said, was good news since the restrictions introduced nationwide on March 20, which include the closure of hotels, shopping malls, cinemas, theaters and swimming pools, had already been applied in Warmia-Mazury on February 27.

Appealing to the public’s sense of responsibility, he said that people should start as soon as possible working remotely for a period of two weeks.

Andrusiewicz said that an eventual relaxation of the restrictions later this spring would require the strict observance of the social distancing rules in the coming weeks. “In order to see a brighter future, each of us must limit our social contacts as much as we can,” he said.

On Tuesday, 16,741 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed, taking the country’s total since the start of the pandemic in March last year to 2,089,869. As of Tuesday, 49,761 people in Poland had lost their lives to the coronavirus.

To date, Poland has vaccinated over five million people and is among the European countries that have not suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after concerns over side effects.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in an increasing number of countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 264 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 82 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on March 16.

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