New Covid strain may worsen pandemic, minister warns

Piotr Nowak/PAP

The new Omicron coronavirus variant is a “game-changer” that may speed up the approach of the 5th pandemic wave, Poland's health minister said on Tuesday.

Adam Niedzielski told the TVN24 news channel that the fifth wave could begin from a higher daily infection level than the previous ones, amounting to even 20,000.

Niedzielski noted that little is known about the Omicron strain, which will have to be lab-tested for more information.

He said, however, that it was a "game-changer" which invalidated all the current pandemic forecasts and made the introduction of special restrictions necessary.

On Monday Niedzieski announced a package of new sanitary restrictions in connection with the appearance of the Omicron strain.