Poland: Covid-19 pandemic downgraded to a ‘state of epidemic threat’

A member of medical staff walks near a COVID-19 ward at the hospital of the Ministry of Interior and Administration in Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

Poland has downgraded the Covid-19 pandemic introduced to the country in March 2020 from “a state of epidemic” to “a state of epidemic threat,” the country’s Minister of Health Adam Niedzielski announced on Monday.

Niedzielski told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that it is the effect of epidemic data and assessments of the situation in Polish hospitals. He stressed, however, that despite lifting the state of the epidemic, it does not mean that it is over.

“No minister in the world can end the epidemic by his decision,” the Polish health minister explained. “The epidemic is still with us, but it is progressively moving to the state of endemic, that is probably best illustrated by flu in our country.”

Most restrictions in Poland were lifted some time ago, including the requirement to self-isolate and quarantine if diagnosed with Covid-19 or after close contact with a positive case. There is also no longer a requirement to wear face masks in closed spaces, except in buildings where medical facilities or pharmacies are located. Vaccination against Covid-19 for medics remains mandatory across the country.

The past week’s infections averaged daily in Poland at 431 and, importantly, there was a decrease of 18 percent in relation to the previous week, when most Poles celebrated the long May weekend.

The health minister revealed that three weeks ago, 90,000 Covid-19 tests were conducted over seven days, compared to slightly over 60,000 in the last week. He pointed out that 90 percent of the tests are currently conducted in the healthcare sector.

There have been more than 6 million infections and over 116,000 coronavirus-related deaths reported in Poland since the pandemic began in March 2020.

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