Covid-19 rise in Poland's eastern provinces signals next wave

Leszek Szymański/PAP

Poland may be on the brink of the fifth wave of the coronavirus pandemic as the country's eastern provinces are seeing a big increase in infections, the health ministry spokesperson has said.

Wojciech Andrusiewicz said on Monday morning that cases are on the rise in the provinces despite them still being dogged by the fourth wave, which they first experienced back in the autumn.

"The rebound seen mainly in eastern provinces... is distressing as it may indicate that we're entering the fifth wave of the pandemic," the ministry spokesperson said.

According to Andrusiewicz, the countrywide week-on-week increase was 18 percent, but the south-eastern Podkarpackie province experienced a 50-percent surge. Malopolskie was hit by a 30-percent increase, the central province of Mazowieckie saw a 29-percent rise and the eastern Lubelskie province reported a 26-percent increase in the number of infections compared to a week before.

Over 100,000 people have died of Covid-19 in Poland since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, while more than 3.8 million have recovered from the illness.