Poland announces record number of COVID cases for second day running

Poland has reported a record daily number of new coronavirus cases for the second day in a row as the prime minister prepares to give details of harsher restrictions for the Easter period.

Poland’s Health Ministry reports over 34,000 new confirmed cases on Thursday, thousands more than the nearly 30,000 cases that set a daily record on Wednesday. Poland also registered 520 more virus-related deaths.

In Poland, officials say this “third wave” of the pandemic is driven by the highly contagious virus variant first detected in Britain. The country’s vaccine rollout is proceeding too slowly to hold back the latest surge in infections.

The higher numbers also come as the government has made it easier for people to get tested for COVID-19, dropping its earlier requirement for a doctor’s referral and allowing people to request a test online.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is set to announce Thursday the details of new restrictions for the week before and the week after Easter, which falls on April 4.

The annual March of the Living, which would normally be in Poland early next month for Yom Hashoah, is being held virtually for the second time in a row this year due to the pandemic.