1. Surge in deaths as Poland struggles with Covid

    Adam Easton

    Warsaw Correspondent

    People go ice skating on an ice rink at the Old Town Square in Warsaw, Poland, 26 December 2021
    Image caption: Poland's high numbers may have been inflated by delayed reporting over the Christmas holidays

    Poland has reported its highest number of Covid-19 deaths since April, with more than three-quarters of the people who died unvaccinated, according to Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska.

    That figure of 794 could be inflated by delayed reporting because of the Christmas holiday period. He tells Polsat TV that 600 of the deaths reported in the previous 24 hours were people who were unvaccinated while the remainder were mostly senior citizens, often with underlying medical issues.

    Poland’s 55% vaccination rate is well below the EU average. That is probably one of the reasons why a country with a population of just under 38 million has reported a total of 95,708 deaths, while neighbouring Germany, with more than twice as many inhabitants, has recorded just 16% more deaths and has a vaccination rate of over 70%.

    The number of new Covid-19 infections in Poland is down 13% from a week earlier, Kraska says. Cases have been falling week on week since the beginning of December. However, Poland has confirmed just 25 cases of the Omicron variant, and the number of new infections is expected to begin rising again in January.

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