Poland may tighten COVID-19 curbs if cases keep growing, says minister

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People wearing protective masks amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walk in front of the Palace of Culture and Science in the centre of Warsaw, Poland February 24, 2021. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

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WARSAW, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Poland will need to consider tighter COVID-19 restrictions if average daily cases exceed 7,000, the health minister was quoted as saying on Monday, as the government warned that infections were almost doubling each week.

Central and eastern Europe, where vaccination rates are lower than in the west of the continent, has seen a surge in cases in recent weeks, with officials in Poland urging the public to get vaccinated and follow the restrictions in place.

"If, at the end of October, we are at an average level of over 7,000 cases per day, we will have to consider taking some more restrictive steps," Adam Niedzielski was quoted as saying by state-run news agency PAP. "Decisions will be made at the beginning of November."

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However, Niedzielski stressed that the government was not considering a lockdown.

On Saturday Poland reported more than 6,000 daily cases for the first time since May.

Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska told public broadcaster Polskie Radio 1 on Monday that daily cases were growing at a pace of around 90% week-on-week.

"The results we got on Monday do not reflect what stage of the pandemic we are currently at, they are always lower... but what is more important is this strong uptrend, and at a high level, which is holding, at the moment it is around over 90% compared to last week," he said.

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Reporting by Alan Charlish and Alicja Ptak; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Stephen Coates

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