Poland records 671 cases of Omicron coronavirus variant

"It should be expected that this new mutation, the new coronavirus variant, will dominate in Poland in the coming weeks," Kraska said. Tomasz Gzell/PAP

Poland has so far identified 671 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, a deputy health minister announced on Monday.

Waldemar Kraska told public broadcaster TVP Info: "In the morning we reported that there were 611 cases of Omicron in Poland, I received information a moment ago that there are already 671 cases."

Kraska said that most Omicron infections had been identified in three provinces. "The most numerous of course is the Mazowieckie province (where Warsaw is located - PAP), but there are also quite a lot of these new mutations in the (northern) Pomorskie province and in (northeastern) Warmia-Masuria province," Kraska said.

"It should be expected that this new mutation, the new coronavirus variant, will dominate in Poland in the coming weeks," he continued.

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski told a Monday press conference that according to recent reports, "Omicron is starting to grow dynamically when it comes to share in the structure of the genome being studied. At the moment it is at the level of about 20 percent."

Niedzielski added that Poland is currently dealing with the fifth wave of coronavirus, which is expected to peak in mid-February with daily infections expected in the range of 60,000 to 140,000.

"We now have greater increases and unfortunately we see no factors that would convince us of a reversal in the trend," Niedzielski said. 

The health minister went on to say that monitoring from Monday, which would be reported on Tuesday, showed there was a risk that daily infections would break the 20,000 barrier. 

"This all shows that the fifth wave has become a fact," he said, adding that an increase in the infection rate should be expected in the near term.

Poland confirmed 10,445 new coronavirus infections on Monday with four deaths related to Covid-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Poland has recorded over 4.3 million infections and more than 102,300 deaths.