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Gov’t plans restrictions in Covid-affected provinces

Andrzej Lange/PAP

The government plans to introduce new coronavirus restrictions in Poland’s eastern provinces where the infection count is the highest, a deputy health minister has said.

Speaking to the online portal Wirtualna Polska on Thursday, Waldemar Kraska also said the area would be divided into yellow and green zones, depending on the seriousness of the situation.

The heightened restrictions are likely to be introduced in the eastern Lubelskie and Podlaskie provinces and in the eastern counties of the central Mazowieckie province.

But Kraska said that “all restrictions and every lockdown that we’re thinking about is disastrous for the economy.”

A government crisis team will meet on Friday to discuss the division into restriction zones in the most affected areas, Kraska said.

Any decision made will be based on the infection count, the percentage of vaccinated inhabitants and the number of hospitalisations, according to the deputy health minister.

“It is now a fourth wave (of the coronavirus pandemic) and we are experienced,” he said, adding that the efficiency of Poland’s healthcare system and hospital bed capacity are “at a high level.”

According to Kraska, the fourth wave of the pandemic will not be as high as the previous ones but will continue for a considerable time.

Infections figures have been on the rise and have already exceeded the health ministry’s initial predictions of around 5,000 a day by the end of October. On Wednesday, the ministry reported 8,361 new coronavirus cases and on Thursday the figure went up to 8,378.

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