Poland's virus cases rise over 40%, Warsaw to face new curbs

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Man wearing a protective coverall takes details from a patient before testing them on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the line to a drive-thru testing centre in Warsaw

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's daily coronavirus cases surged over 40% on Thursday compared to the previous day, as infection rates hit a new record just as the capital Warsaw was set to be added to a list of areas with additional restrictions.

Poland faces spiralling infection rates, and while authorities have sought to reassure the public that hospitals can cope doctors have warned that the system could soon face serious difficulties.

Poland reported a new record of 4,280 daily coronavirus cases on Thursday, according to the health ministry's Twitter account, up 42.5% compared to the 3,003 reported on Wednesday. It also reported 76 coronavirus-related deaths, a new record.

Other central and eastern European countries are also facing sharp increases, with the Czech Republic and Slovakia both reporting record numbers of cases on Thursday.

Earlier on Thursday Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska confirmed to public radio that the Polish capital Warsaw would be added to a list of areas with additional restrictions, including the need to wear a mask outside at all times, due to high numbers of coronavirus cases.

In total, the country of 38 million has reported 111,599 cases of the coronavirus and 2,867 deaths.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Health Minister Adam Niedzielski are expected to hold a news conference at 1130 GMT.

(Reporting by Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Toby Chopra)