PM warns of fifth Covid wave

In his weekly podcast published on Friday, Mateusz Morawiecki announced new measures to combat the virus including free Covid tests without a doctor’s referral. Mateusz Morawiecki/Facebook

Poland's healthcare system will find itself under “unprecedented” pressure owing to a surge in new Covid-19 cases caused by the highly-infectious Omicron variant, Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister, has warned.

In his weekly podcast published on Friday, Mateusz Morawiecki also announced new measures to combat the virus including free Covid tests without a doctor’s referral.

"The fifth wave of the pandemic has become a fact," Morawiecki said. "In recent days we've been seeing over 30,000 new (daily) infections.

"These numbers must be making an impression even on those who disregarded the pandemic," the prime minister continued.

Morawiecki warned that Poland is about to see the highest numbers of infections since the start of the pandemic.

"Undoubtedly, the healthcare system will find itself under unprecedented pressure," the prime minister said, encouraging society to adhere to the Covid restrictions and get vaccinated.

According to the head of government, Poland will also ramp up its testing capacity and add new locations, including pharmacies, where people will be able to get tested for free without a doctor's referral.

The country reported 36,665 new coronavirus cases and 248 deaths on Friday.