(AP) — Poland and several other countries in Central and Eastern Europe are facing the emergence of the omicron variant while already dealing with surging coronavirus cases and deaths. COVID-19 deaths recently peaked in Russia and Ukraine, and more than 1,00 people in Russia are dying with the disease every day.
Meanwhile, Poland’s intensive care units are full and doctors in the country report that more children are requiring hospitalization. Vaccination rates in the region are lower than in Western Europe.
The latest outbreak has created a dilemma for Poland’s government, which has urged citizens to get vaccinated but clearly worries about alienating voters who oppose vaccine mandates and restrictions on economic life.