Some Polish doctors and nurses are just taking naps between shifts as they fight a third wave of the coronavirus, the health minister said on Friday, amid reports of medical staff taking oxygen and intravenous drips to boost their energy.
The country of 38 million, the largest in the European Union’s eastern wing, will report around 700 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said, after the number of deaths hit a new record of 954 on Thursday.
“This is indeed a war and the situation requires non-standard behaviours,” he told private radio RMF 24.
“These are the toughest, the most difficult pictures, which reflect the burden of this work,” Niedzielski said when asked to comment on some doctors’ using drips and oxygen to regain strength to work.
“When I visited a temporary hospital in Katowice I saw doctors and nurses sleeping to rest in between their shifts. The intensity of work is significant, which results from the deficit of personnel,” Niedzielski said.
Poland reported record high numbers of new cases last week at around 35,000 a day and on Wednesday the government extended restrictions until April 18, keeping kindergartens, schools, shopping centres, hotels, cinemas and theatres closed.
The previous 24-hour death record was 674, reported in November. On Thursday Poland reported 27,887 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total to almost 2.5 million.
Main Photo: A stop warning sign on a wall at the hospital of the Ministry of National Defence in Okecie, Warsaw, Poland. EPA-EFE/MATEUSZ MAREK