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World News

Poland may reimpose some curbs as daily COVID-19 cases jump

FILE PHOTO: A health worker wearing protective gear takes a swab sample from a driver at a mobile testing station for miners of the Bielszowice coal mine, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Ruda Slaska, Poland July 27, 2020. Grzegorz Celejewski/Agencja Gazeta/via REUTERS

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland may have to reimpose quarantine for travellers from countries such as Spain to contain the coronavirus, its prime minister said on Thursday after the country reported its highest daily number of infections so far.

Poland has reported fewer cases of COVID-19 than some other European countries, but in recent days the number of new infections has climbed, with the health ministry blaming outbreaks in coal mines and social gatherings.

Poland reported 615 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total to 45,031 since the start of the outbreak. There have been 1,709 documented deaths from COVID-19.

“It cannot be ruled out that if the situation gets worse, we will need to limit the spread of the coronavirus... We are trying to work out solutions that will not restrict business activities as before,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference.

He said Poland may have to reimpose quarantine for people returning from countries such as Spain, but would analyse the situation and then decide on any action.

Poland started lifting a lockdown in May and eased quarantine restrictions last month.

New infections were detected mainly in two regions, including the coal mining region of Silesia, health ministry spokesman Wojciech Andrusiewicz said.

Andrusiewicz also told private broadcaster TVN24 that there may be a “high number of new infections” in coming days. The ministry expects 150-200 new cases a day in the coming days in Silesia, as tests continue in three coal mines.

Local sanitary services in the Silesia region said that causes of the growing number of infections among miners included the difficulty in keeping a distance between workers.

Reporting by Alan Charlish, Marcin Goclowski, Joanna Plucinska and Pawel Florkiewicz; editing by Larry King, Susan Fenton and Nick Macfie

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