Peak of epidemic likely in autumn: Health Minister

On Saturday, Poland’s Health Minister Łukasz Szumowski said that among many models of the epidemic’s evolution in the country, those received from renowned research teams indicate the peak of the epidemic in Poland may take place in September, October or November.

On private TV channel Polsat News, the Health Minister also said that Poland is still in the growth phase regarding the epidemic, but the growth is “slower than predicted.”

However, the health minister compared these forecasts to weather forecasts. “Unfortunately this is similar to forecasting weather, that is forecasting the sequence of a very complicated process with little data.”

“And forecasts are suggesting that because of isolating, we’re moving the peak of the epidemic further away. Today, September, October or November are mentioned more often,” the minister said. “Let’s hope that thanks to the rules of social distancing, wearing face masks on the street, these increases in infections will be slow.”

At the same time, the deputy Health Minister, Waldemar Kraska, said that on Monday or Tuesday it will be clear how the previous loosening of isolation rules influenced the number of infected. “Then it will be clear whether we can go further and further loosen restrictions,” he said. Last Monday, the government allowed people to leave their homes for “recreational” purposes. Wearing face masks in public places is obligatory from April 16. The government has also decided to restart top league soccer games and speedway races and will allow recreational sport activities outdoors from May 4.

Deputy Minister Kraska also said that during the last 24 hours, over 14,000 coronavirus tests have been carried out. Taking into account the capacity of Poland’s laboratories, the deputy minister noted that there could be 25,000 tests per day. “This is why we need to do more tests.”

He also announced that a new form of testing has already been introduced. “We want to open sampling points in front of every hospital in Poland, where we have triage tents,” Mr Kraska said. First they would be open to people in quarantine, which could drive up in their cars and get tested, and see if they should remain in quarantine. These mobile tests will be financed by the National Health Fund.