Poland reports record rise in coronavirus cases, approaching lockdown threshold

FILE PHOTO: A health worker in protective suit waits for people at a test center in Warsaw

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland reported a record 27,143 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, approaching a threshold at which the government has said it could be forced to impose a nationwide lockdown.

On Wednesday, the government announced new restrictions to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and said it would impose a full lockdown if cases continue to surge.

The next threshold at which tougher measures would be required is 29,000-30,000 average daily cases for a week, government spokesman Piotr Muller told public radio station Polskie Radio 1 early on Thursday.

The country also reported 367 deaths on Thursday, just short of a record.

The health ministry said that, as of Thursday, COVID-19 patients occupied 19,114 hospital beds and were using 1,615 ventilators. There are 28,010 beds and 2,144 respirators available.

Most shops in shopping malls, theatres, museums, galleries and cinemas will close from Saturday. All school pupils who are not already working remotely will start to do so from Monday, while hotels will remain open only for business guests.

(Reporting by Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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