A researcher with the University of Warsaw on Tuesday warned of the imminent scarcity of hospital beds if the country’s daily COVID-19 cases stand at a rate of 17,000 per day.
Maciej Jasinski with the University of Warsaw told Polish news portal WP that the calculation shows that 13,291 of beds reserved for COVID-19 patients have been filled, out of a total of 20,704. Of the 1,594 ventilators, 1,078 are already in use.
At a rate of 17,000 new cases per day, bed and ventilator shortages may occur as early as Nov. 2, said the expert.
Poland’s daily new cases of COVID-19 reached 16,300 on Tuesday, shattering the previous record and bringing the country’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic to 280,229.
“It is a very dangerous rise, as it is only accelerating and not showing any signs of slowing down,” warned Jasinski.
“If the current trend holds, around 260,000 people will have fallen ill over the course of the coming week, of whom 23,400 will need hospitalization. Over 1,800 of them will require a ventilator.”
To meet the increasing medical demand, the National Stadium in Warsaw has been converted into a field hospital, which was originally scheduled to be opened last weekend. The field hospital’s director Artur Zaczynski now aims to make the hospital operational on Wednesday.
Polish experts warned on Tuesday that a new full lockdown might be unavoidable as the country’s daily records of confirmed cases were repeatedly shattered.
The coronavirus has hit the highest offices of Poland. President Andrzej Duda was confirmed positive on Friday evening and has been in quarantine since then. After the confirmed infection of the president, the country’s defense minister was also confirmed positive, while interior minister was put into isolation after direct contact with a COVID-19 patient.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Tuesday a support package worth about 393 million euros for the over 170,000 businesses that have been impacted by the restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the virus-caused disease.
Poland is also seeking possible therapies to the pandemic, with a candidate medicine developed from blood plasma of recovered patients undergoing testing in the eastern Polish town of Lublin.