Poland, which on Wednesday marked the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the death camp in Auschwitz, is looking at a harsh combination of a high death rate and a record-setting low birthrate as a result of the pandemic.
The number of Covid-19-related deaths in Poland since the beginning of the pandemic has exceeded 36,000, according to a Wednesday announcement from the country’s Health Ministry. Since March 4, 2020, when the first coronavirus case was detected in Poland, 1,489,512 people were infected, 36,054 died, and 1,246,267 recovered. Currently, there are about 14,100 patients with coronavirus in Polish hospitals, 1,414 of whom are on ventilators. More than 184,000 Poles are in quarantine. Polish hospitals have a total of 29,500 beds for Covid-19 patients, and 2,800 ventilators.
Meanwhile, according to a Tuesday report of the daily newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, statistics for 2020 show the Polish birth rate in a sharp decline.
This combination of a high death rate and the low birth rate has been described by some as a demographic crisis.
Poland, with a population of more than 38 million, registered 357,400 births last year, which is the lowest number since 2005. The country saw about 486,200 deaths in 2020, the highest number since WW2. In 2019, Poland saw its population decline by 36,400, but this figure jumped in 2020 to 129,000.
The high death rate continued in January 2021, with close to 29,000 deaths, compared with 24,800 deaths in the first three weeks of 2020, before the start of the pandemic.