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Polish PM rules out full lockdown after COVID-19 cases exceed 300,000

Warsaw: Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday that he was not considering a full lockdown, after the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeded 300,000 in the country.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Poland had increased by 20,156 since Wednesday — the highest 24-hour figure since the start of the pandemic in March — and reached 319,205, the Ministry of Health said on Thursday morning. Another 301 people have died from the virus, bringing the death toll to 5,149.

Morawiecki held a press conference to mark the opening of a field hospital at the National Stadium in the capital Warsaw.

The field hospital is the first temporary facility specifically set up to provide care for COVID-19 patients. Starting with 300 beds, it will be offering 2,000 beds over the coming month.

The prime minister lambasted what he saw as a lack of discipline compared to the first wave of the epidemic.

He especially condemned the large-scale street protests sparked by a ruling by the country’s Constitutional Tribunal that outlawed virtually all cases of legal abortions in the predominantly Catholic country.

Poland, too, is struggling to control the pandemic. One candidate medication developed from the blood plasma of recovered patients is currently undergoing testing in the eastern Polish town of Lublin.

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