Poland entering third wave of COVID-19, health ministry says

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A paramedic transports a COVID-19 patient at a hospital in Warsaw, Poland December 3, 2020. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

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WARSAW, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Poland is seeing the beginning of a third wave of coronavirus infections, a health ministry spokesman said on Friday, as the country posted a large week-on-week increase in daily cases.

Poland has loosened some restrictions, recently opening ski slopes as well as cinemas, hotels and theatres at up to 50% capacity, but authorities have warned that these measures may have to be rolled back depending on the pandemic situation.

"We are at the beginning of the third wave, it is not as dynamic as in Slovakia or the Czech Republic..., but unfortunately we are observing this upward trend," Wojciech Andrusiewicz told reporters. "Week-to-week we unfortunately see a 20% growth trend."

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He added that around 10% of COVID-19 cases in Poland were now the British variant.

On Friday Poland reported 8,777 new cases of the coronavirus and 241 deaths.

In total, it has reported 1,623,218 cases of the coronavirus and 41,823 deaths.

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Reporting by Pawel Florkiewicz and Alan Charlish; Editing by Kim Coghill

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