World News

Poland reports record daily increase in coronavirus cases

FILE PHOTO: People are tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a drive-thru testing centre in Warsaw, Poland, October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland reported a record 27,875 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, taking the total number of reported cases over 500,000 as new restrictions came into force to curb the pandemic’s spread.

Infections have risen sharply over the last month, with doctors telling Polish media that the country is running out of hospital beds, ventilators and medics.

On Friday, Poland saw a record 445 coronavirus-related deaths. On Saturday, the country recorded 349.

The restrictions include shutting most shops in shopping malls, theatres, museums and galleries from Saturday onwards, but the government has insisted it wants to avoid a total lockdown.

Poland has 20,249 occupied hospital beds out of 30,896 available for COVID-19 patients.

Some 1,813 of its 2,357 ventilators are in use, health ministry data showed.

On Friday, the government introduced new economic support measures amounting to 9-10 billion zlotys to help businesses weather the second wave of the pandemic.

Reporting by Joanna Plucinska and Anna Koper; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore