BOHNIA, POLAND (AP) – Polish hospitals battled a large number of people infected with COVID-19 over the weekend in Central and Eastern Europe following a huge wave of infections in recent weeks.
In the vicinity of Poland, two weeks of severe epidemic restrictions were imposed in Poland to slow the spread of the infection. In the last two days, the country has recorded more than 35,000 new infections, with hundreds of deaths every day.
The new restrictions were intended to prevent large gatherings over the long weekend, which ended on Easter Monday. At the same time, the government is trying to accelerate the spread of vaccines in the country, but the pressure on the country’s hospitals is still relentless.
On Easter Sunday, patients with the coronavirus filled almost 120 beds at a hospital in the Bochnia region, 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of the southern city of Krakow.
“It’s a difficult situation because there are so many patients,” said Bozena Gikala, a nurse treating COVID-19 patients, who spoke to reporters visiting the Associated Press hospital.
He said that the support of his colleagues is very important in managing the unprecedented situation.
Another nurse, Eva Ptak, said she had COVID-19 and had a mission to help those who suffered more than she did.
“Thank God I went without a hospital, I was fine. “But I know what it is. I just want to help people.”
One of the patients, 82-year-old Eduard Schumansky, expressed concern about how some people still reject the virus, which has killed more than 2.8 million people worldwide. There were 55,000 deaths in Poland.
“The disease, of course, exists, it is very serious. “Those who did not have it, those who do not have it in their families, may be deceiving themselves, but the reality is different,” he said.
Schumansky said he was also concerned that ICUs in hospitals could soon be used up and that more people would die. There have been warnings and reports in the Polish media about how the nation’s healthcare system is reaching a turning point.
The hospital’s medical director, Yaroslav Gukva, said the epidemic had been exacerbated by those who thought it was a hoax, avoided masks or ignored restrictions.
The hospital is so tense that it is dismissing patients who still need more treatment to make room for the next in need. This is not a normal situation, “he added.
Poland reported 204 new COVID-19 deaths in Poland on Sunday, but the numbers were much higher in recent days, mostly around 500 a day. On Wednesday, they were high for 653 this year.
“The hardest part is intubating your friends and letting them be revived,” Gukva said.
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