WARSAW, Poland: Poland has emerged as the most recent country in Europe to have reported 100,000 fatalities linked to COVID-19, occurring at a time when the country gears up for a Covid Omicron spike.
Almost one-quarter of these fatalities, or some 24,000, were reported during the latest COVID-19 wave, which began in October.
Adam Niedzielski, Poland's minister of health, announced on January 11 that 493 additional patients had succumbed to Covid, thereby driving the total fatality tally to reach 100,254 in Poland.
The large number of fatalities occurred as day-to-day infections plummeted after having peaked, with officials calling it the nation's fourth COVID-19 wave spurred by the virus' Delta strain. However, amid the transmission of the Omicron strain, another major COVID-19 wave is spreading across the country.
The Omicron-linked fatalities were recorded on January 10 among senior citizens, along with those who have not been vaccinated.
According to Niedzielski, in the wake of more than 18,000 COVID-19-related hospitalizations, the Omicron wave is the most challenging scenario the country has endured.
Poland has been grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, amid a shortage of funds encumbering the healthcare sector, coupled with many medical personnel relocating to Western Europe during the previous 20 years.
As per figures of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Poland has the smallest number of doctor to citizen ratio in the European Union, at 2.4 per 1,000 residents. Germany has 4.5 doctors to 1,000 residents.
During the previous Covid Delta wave, 83 percent of the fatalities were among those who had not been inoculated. Among individuals below 44 years of age, over ninety percent of those succumbing to the virus had not been inoculated.