Poland recorded 603 coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths as of November 18, the health ministry said in a daily report.
That is the highest daily number of fatal cases since the pandemic began in Poland in March. The surging number of deaths is the effect of the number of new coronavirus cases spiking earlier this month, peaking at nearly 28,000 on November 7.
The daily tally of new infections has dropped below the 20,000-mark now, suggesting stabilisation although experts say Poland carries out far too few tests to be able to assess the real scale of the infections.
The government hopes that the apparent plateauing of the second wave of the pandemic will spare Poland from going into a second lockdown. The first lockdown in March and April is widely expected to have driven Poland’s economy to a recession this year.
Poland has several restrictions in place aimed at containing the virus, which began surging in early October. All restaurants and most retail outlets are closed. The government has also closed schools, which experts believe were a major source of infections. There is also a ban on gatherings larger than five people.
The government said it would review the restrictions on November 29.
Poland’s economy is expected to shrink 3-4% in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. After falling an adjusted 8% y/y in the second quarter, the economy rebounded in the third quarter, falling just 2% y/y in adjusted terms, the country’s stats office GUS said on November 13. The economy also jumped an unadjusted 7.7% on the quarter.
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