Poland announces partial lockdown amid virus surge in Europe

WION Web Team
Poland Published: Mar 18, 2021, 07:19 AM(IST)

File photo of a COVID-19 vaccination centre Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Poland's health minister said the recent spike has added pressure on already overwhelmed hospitals forcing authorities to impose fresh restrictions.

France faced weekend lockdown even as the Polish government announced a three-week partial lockdown from Saturday as Europe continues to grapple with the coronavirus epidemic.

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In Poland the daily tally of new coronavirus cases reached the highest level this year as the government announced shopping malls, hotels, pools, gyms and schools will be closed until at least April 9.

Poland already has a string of restrictions in place, including closed restaurants, fitness centres and schools for grades 4 and higher.

The fresh restrictions come as Poland has seen the spread of a highly infectious coronavirus variant first detected in Britain which has been responsible for the majority of recent infections. The country has been implementing regional lockdowns to contain a surge in infections driven by the new variant, however, the government has warned that a national lockdown was possible if case numbers kept rising.

Poland's health minister said the recent spike has added pressure on already overwhelmed hospitals forcing authorities to impose fresh restrictions. The country has already registered over 48,000 COVID-19 deaths with over 1,956 million cases.

Meanwhile, France recorded  38,501 new infections in the last 24 hours as PM Jean Castex announced that new restrictions could be put in place for the Paris region with weekend lockdowns which is already in place in the Nice and Calais regions.

"We are in a worrying and critical situation and, clearly, measures of the type that have been used in other parts of the territory are on the table," Castex said.

France has been hit hard with the virus recording over 4.1 million cases and over 91,300 fatalities amid the vaccination drive. The vaccination drive in Europe has been hampered by a lack of doses with EU being criticised by health experts and citizens for its lack of planning.

In France, just over 5.5 million people have received the first dose of the vaccine and nearly 2.4 million have received both doses.

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