Poland to create 6,000 beds for COVID-19 patients within month

"Within a month we will increase two-fold the number of beds, creating them in temporary hospitals, creating them in various places," Morawiecki said. Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

Within a month, 6,000 beds will be created for treatment of COVID-19 patients, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Saturday, adding that the Material Reserves Agency (ARM) has 3,500 ventilators to be made available to all hospitals in need.

During a visit to a temporary hospital being set up in the International Congress Centre in the southern Polish city of Katowice, Morawiecki said the government had bought ventilators in the summer and that 2,200 have since been connected. Now another 3,500 have been added to the ARM's possession. He said ventilators would be available for all hospitals that applied for them, and expressed hope they would be delivered within 48 hours.

The prime minister said that before the pandemic only 3,000 COVID-19 beds were available nationally.

"Within a month we will increase the number of beds (...), creating them in temporary hospitals, creating them in various places," he said.

Morawiecki added that there are currently 30,000 beds available but that the infection rate is also very high. He said as well as creating bed space, it was important to control the spread of the disease, hence the new restrictions which came into force on Saturday.

Morawiecki appealed for the pubic to heed the restrictions and wear masks and expressed his conviction that "together we will win this fight," but that it is important to follow the new rules in place.

"I am often asked, how long (...) this epidemic will last," Morawiecki said. "The only correct answer is: it depends on our determination, discipline and effectiveness in action."