Poland faces new restrictions as daily coronavirus cases hit fifth consecutive high

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Poland could announce tougher restrictions on Saturday to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic after it reported record infections for the fifth consecutive day with 5,300 new cases, according to health ministry data published on Twitter.

New restrictions announced on Thursday, including wearing masks outside at all times, went into effect on Saturday and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is expected to announce further limits on schools on Saturday afternoon.

Morawiecki has not ruled out introducing a state of emergency if case numbers continue to climb.

There were street protests around the country on Saturday against the order to wear masks.

Poland, a country of 38 million, has so far recorded 121,638 confirmed cases and 2,972 deaths. During the first wave of the pandemic in the spring, the highest daily new cases were in the hundreds.

Ministry data also showed that 28,300 tests were carried out in the last 24 hours.

Other central and eastern European countries are also facing sharp increases in infections, with the Czech Republic revealing a record 8,618 new cases on Saturday.

Polish authorities have sought to reassure the public that hospitals can cope with the rise in infections, but doctors have warned the system could soon face serious difficulties.

Poland reported a record 5,300 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, according to health ministry data published on Twitter, as new restrictions including wearing masks outside at all times go into effect.

Poland has now recorded 121,638 confirmed coronavirus cases and 2,972 deaths. 

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