Poland extends COVID-19 lockdown as ‘third wave’ affects healthcare system


Warsaw: The Polish government has extended the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown by a week, saying the recent “zenith of the pandemic’s third wave” is starting to affect healthcare facilities.

It is the second extension of the lockdown since it was put in place on March 27, Xinhua news agency reported.

The current lockdown would have expired on April 18.

The measure meant that restrictions on shops, which are allowed one customer per 20 square meters, will now last till April 25.

The same limit remains in force for places of worship, while furniture stores and hardware stores larger than 2,000 square meters will stay closed.

Hotels and other establishments offering sleeping facilities will face restrictions till May 3 at least.

However, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said that nurseries and pre-schools will be allowed to reopen starting on April 19, while restrictions on outdoor sports will also be lifted.

“The restrictions aim to minimize pressure put on our infrastructure for healthcare and ventilators,” Niedzielski said.

On Wednesday, another 21,283 people have been confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus in Poland.

Poland has so far reported 2,621,116 confirmed cases, while the death toll stood at59,930.

Poland is one of a number of European countries that have not restricted the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine following reports of rare cases of blood clots.

The country has so far given 7.9 million of its citizens at least one jab.
 

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