The Polish Ministry of Health announced on Saturday, September 19th that a record-high 1002 cases of coronavirus infection were confirmed by laboratory tests in the past 24 hours. The Ministry also reported that another 12 people have passed away from the disease.
Since the detection of the first coronavirus case in Poland, that is since March 4, laboratory tests have confirmed the infection in 78,330 people, with 2,282 fatalities recorded thus far.
The record-high figure of daily cases comes after the ministry reported 757 cases on Friday, 837 on Thursday, 600 on Wednesday, 605 on Tuesday and 377 on Monday.
The new cases reported on Saturday, concern people from the provinces: Małopolskie (149), Lubelskie (122), Pomorskie (96), Wielkopolskie (94), Mazowieckie (88), Dolnośląskie (83), Podkarpackie (69), Śląskie (64), Łódzkie (61), Kujawsko-Pomorskie (35), Opolskie (35), Zachodniopomorskie (31), Podlaskie (24), Warmińsko-Mazurskie (22), Świętokrzyskie (21) and Lubuskie (8).
The 12 people who passed away in the past 24 hours are reported to have been aged between 46 and 92, with most suffering from comorbidities.
Representatives of the Ministry of Health report that 1977 hospital beds are currently occupied by COVID-patients, with 83 of the patients having been put on a ventilator.
63,861 patients have recovered from the disease, 11,494 people are under sanitary and epidemiological supervision while 118,864 people are in quarantine.
The number of cases has recently risen sharply in parts of Central Eastern Europe, with the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, and now Poland, all reporting record-high daily infections in recent days.
Health Ministry spokesman says increase is a result of society returning to normal
Wojciech Andrusiewicz, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, states that Poland is one of the countries which is most efficient in detecting cases of novel coronavirus infections.
However, the most reliable data indicating how the epidemic is developing in a given country is the rate of hospitalisations and the number of cases needing ventilators, not the number of tests executed - he added.
"A more reliable data set than the number of tests performed to assess the development of the epidemic, is the number of occupied hospital beds and the number of patients on ventilators” - Andrusiewicz told reporters from the Polish Press Agency (PAP).
The number of patients hospitalised for COVID-19 remains steadily below 2,000 while the number of patients on ventilators hovers around 80.
The spokesman emphasised that the tests performed in Poland effectively detect patients, saying "if somebody says that we perform few tests, I reply that we are one of the European countries which has the highest level of accurate tests”
On Friday, more than 21 thousand tests were carried out. Almost 3 million Poles have been tested so far.
Commenting on the number of cases coming back positive in recent days, the spokesman stated that the increase in September is a natural consequence of the fact that Poles are returning to normal activities after the nationwide lockdown in the spring.
"This is a natural situation that we predicted. (...) The lockdown is over. The country is alive and functioning. Our interactions are very different to how they were in the spring and summer. So it’s natural that in such a situation, there will be more infections" - Mr Andrusziewicz stated.
The spokesman said that the new strategy of limiting transmissions is based on quick interventions in local hotspots before adding “with the activity we have now, we won’t be able to completely avoid infections. We must learn to live with it and learn to fight the coronavirus".