Poland urges seniors to avoid contact with others amid Covid surge

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The government of Poland urged senior citizens of the country to limit contact with others amid a surge in COVID-19 infections, requesting them to “endure these dozen or so more weeks” until the wave passes.

Poland is witnessing its highest number of infections by far, with the rolling weekly average of daily new COVID-19 cases reaching over 48,000 today. The country’s fifth wave has been driven by the Omicron variant, which now accounts for 60% of new samples.

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Speaking to TVP Info, deputy health minister Waldemar Kraska noted that, while those aged over 60 are “quite well vaccinated” (at a rate of around 78%, compared to 57% of the general population), they are also the age group most likely “to lose the fight with coronavirus” if infected.

He said that around 87% of all deaths are of people aged are 60 years and above, who are more likely to suffer comorbidities. “Every infection with coronavirus can worsen their health,” said Kraska. “The statistics are merciless.”

The minister thus urged seniors to “follow all our recommendations” and “limit contact with others” in order to endure “these dozen or so more weeks”. He said he “hope it’s a few more weeks [to go] and we will slowly recover from this fifth wave”.

The rising number of cases of hospitalisations, which lag behind infections, have now also begun to rise. Almost 15,500 people are currently in hospital with COVID-19, up from around 13,500 a week ago.

Earlier this month, the health minister warned that Poland was facing a “catastrophic scenario” as the spread of the Omicron variant – and the resultant rise in hospitalisations – could leave the healthcare system unable to cope.

Despite this, the government has so far avoided introducing new restrictions during the current wave, apart from returning all children from grade five and above to remote learning.

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