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Poland's virus cases hit new record

FILE PHOTO: A health worker wearing protective gear takes a swab sample from a driver at a mobile testing station for miners of the Bielszowice coal mine, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Ruda Slaska, Poland July 27, 2020. Grzegorz Celejewski/Agencja Gazeta/via REUTERS

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland on Thursday reported a record number of coronavirus infections for the fifth time since last week, the health ministry said, as it announced renewed local restrictions to counter the spike in cases.

The new record of 726 new cases, the first time daily cases have topped 700, came as the health ministry said restrictions would return in 19 counties worst affected by the pandemic.

These would include obligatory wearing of masks and only using half the seats on public transport, Deputy Health Minister Janusz Cieszynski told a news conference.

“We will also limit the number of people who will be able to attend weddings, funerals and other celebrations,” he said.

Silesia in the south had the largest number of new infections with 137. The region has been battling an outbreak among miners and the rapid spread of infections led to a temporary reduction of coal output in June.

Poland has reported a total of 49,515 coronavirus cases and 1,774 deaths, according to the ministry.

Reporting by Alan Charlish and Anna Koper; editing by John Stonestreet and Giles Elgood

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