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Poland opens COVID-19 vaccination centres near cemeteries for those visiting loved ones

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By Euronews  with AFP
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Candles and flowers lay in front of the locked gate to Powazki cementary in Warsaw, Poland, on November 1, 2020.
Candles and flowers lay in front of the locked gate to Powazki cementary in Warsaw, Poland, on November 1, 2020.   -   Copyright  WOJTEK RADWANSKI / AFP

Poland's health ministry extended its COVID-19 vaccination campaign to cemeteries across the country, as people head to the graveyards for All Saints' Day.

Polish cemeteries reopened after authorities decided to close them a year ago due to coronavirus restrictions, much to the dismay of the faithful and florists.

"Last year it was a huge disaster. Fortunately, the cemeteries are open this year and people are coming," said Michal Debinski, a Polish florist.

This year's reopening comes as the number of daily infections is on the rise in the country.

According to data provided by the health ministry on October 31, there were 7,145 new coronavirus infections in Poland, and nine people died due to COVID-19.

But people can now do two things at once: tidy up the graves of their relatives and get vaccinated, as ambulances or special vans wait by the graveyards to administrate a jab to anyone who wants either their first or second doses or even a booster one.

"It is a good idea, particularly when the fourth wave is gaining momentum. I got two doses, I think that the cemetery encourages reflection on life, death, and the pandemic," a woman told local media.

"I think this is a good idea, I am a student, and the more I think about it, the more I believe we should all get vaccinated," another added.

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