WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland reported a record 603 new coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours on Wednesday, but a senior official expressed optimism over a fall in new infections since restrictions were tightened.
The health ministry reported 19,883 new cases, a much lower tally than the one-day record of 27,875 registered in the country of 38 million on Nov. 7.
Poland imposed new restrictions this month to curb the spread of COVID-19, launching remote teaching for all schools, closing restaurants and most shops in shopping malls, and banning gatherings of more than five people.
“One has to be a moderate optimist,” Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska told public radio before the latest figures were published. “We would like to have fewer infections, but the good news is that the number of cases is not rising. The restrictions we launched are working.”
The health ministry said that as of Wednesday, COVID-19 patients occupied 22,812 hospital beds.
(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko and Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Catherine Evans and Timothy Heritage)