Poland hits pandemic record of over 36,600 daily infections

WARSAW, Poland (AP): Poland’s deputy health minister said Friday the nation hit a COVID-19 pandemic record of 36,665 new infections reported in 24 hours.

Waldemar Kraska said that 1,390 among the new cases were confirmed as caused by the highly contagious omicron variant.

Health care authorities are expecting up to 50,000 new daily infections next week, saying the fifth wave will be a tough challenge to the system, which has some 31,000 hospital beds prepared for coronavirus patients.

Many medics are saying the already overloaded system is not prepared to handle so many cases, especially under staff shortages and exhaustion.

There were 248 deaths among coronavirus patients reported Friday, a significant drop from almost 800 daily in late December. The have been over 103,000 deaths in Poland since the start of the pandemic.

The vaccination rate is almost 57% in this nation of some 38 million, and some 9 million people have received booster shots.