Poland to cut number of Covid beds, shorten quarantine

Andrzej Lange/PAP

A crisis team will meet at the Health Ministry later on Monday to decide how many Covid beds should be freed to treat other diseases, while on Wednesday the health minister will shorten the self-isolation period, a health ministry spokesman has said.

Poland has been struggling to contain the fifth wave of the coronavirus, now dominated by the highly-infectious Omicron variant, but weekly infection numbers seem to have stalled or retreated.

Poland has earmarked over 18,000 hospital beds for Covid-19 patients, Wojciech Andrusiewicz said on Monday.

"At the same time there are 820,000 officially reported infections," Andrusiewicz added. "In all the Covid waves we’ve not had such a low bed-occupancy ratio, which is now at 0.5 percent of infections.

"If we take into account the scale of infection we can see that this virus is much more infectious but at the same time much less virulent," Andrusiewicz said.

On Wednesday Adam Niedzielski, the health minister, will announce his decision on shortening the self-isolation period for people infected with Covid-19, Andrusiewicz went on to say.

This is due to "a shorter period of showing symptoms and infecting as well as the necessity to get people back to work in different sectors," the health ministry spokesman said.

Currently, the self-isolation period for people who tested positive for Covid-19 is 10 days.