(Corrects the number of total infections in para 11)
* Poland reports new record in daily COVID cases and deaths
* PM will announce new restrictions to curb pandemic
* Stock market falls amid fears of total lockdown
WARSAW, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Poland will announce more restrictions on Wednesday to halt the spread of the coronavirus, the prime minister’s chief of staff Michal Dworczyk said, as daily infections and deaths reached new records, rattling investors anxious about the economic fallout.
The country reported 24,692 new COVID-19 cases and 373 deaths on Wednesday and is running out of hospital beds, ventilators, oxygen and medics.
“The situation is serious and today the prime minister will announce further restrictions,” Dworczyk told Catholic radio station Siodma9. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the health minister were due to give a news conference at 1300 GMT.
Dworczyk said the measures would limit movements and the number of social contacts.
Warsaw’s main stock index, the WIG20, fell sharply after the publication of the new COVID-19 data even as other markets in the region rose. It was down 1.9% at 1100 GMT.
“These records (in infections) are scary, the question is what’s next. Yesterday we received information that a full lockdown cannot be excluded,” a broker based in Warsaw said.
The government has said it wants to avoid a full lockdown, which could prove disastrous for the economy, but has not ruled out stricter measures if new infections continue to rise.
Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska, speaking on public radio, did not exclude the possibility of shopping malls having to close.
Shares in shoe and fashion retailers CCC and LPP , which sell their products mostly in shopping malls, fell by 5.4% and 3.5% respectively. Shares in coking coal producer JSW, which was severely hit by the first wave of the pandemic in the spring, fell by over 6%.
Poland has already shut bars and restaurants, limited the operations of swimming pools, and asked the elderly to stay at home.
The country of 38 million has so far reported a total of 439,536 COVID-19 infections, including 6,475 deaths, with the fastest growth seen in recent weeks.
The ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) has said recent huge protests against a near total abortion ban in Poland will result in more COVID-19 infections.
Some immunologists, however, said the protesters wore face masks, stayed apart and marched in the open air, which reduces the risk of infection. Protest organisers said the government was wrongly trying to shift blame for its own failure to contain the pandemic onto them.
Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko, Pawel Florkiewicz, Anna Koper; editing by Philippa Fletcher and Gareth Jones
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