Health Minister Announces New Restrictions As Czech Rep. To Turn Orange This Weekend
Due to the deteriorating epidemiological situation, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch has announced new measures to contain the increasing numbers of coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic. Title photo: Freepik Stock photo.
Czech Republic, Sep 17 (BD) – Health Minister Adam Vojtěch admitted that the situation regarding the novel coronavirus in the Czech Republic is “not good”, and announced the tightening of measures. Ladislav Dušek, Director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics, said that the so-called “semafor” epidemic map will from now on be updated more frequently than weekly as before. Dušek also predicted that the new version to be published this weekend will categorise most regions as orange. He said that the current reproductive number is 1.6.
More than 75% of cases have no or only mild symptoms. Dušek said that less than 1% of patients have a severe case of the illness, and mortality is 0.4%.
The Chairman of the Czech Society of Anesthesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Care, Vladimír Černý, expects 70,000 patients to test positive for coronavirus by the end of September. The most optimistic scenario still predicts 44,000 new cases.
Černý explained that the rapid increase in September compared to the summer months is due to the lower number of work contacts in July and August (50% compared to other months) and the recent return of children to schools.
New Measures: Facemasks in Schools, Limits on Mass Event
From midnight on Friday to Saturday, new restrictions will apply to clubs, discos and bars across the whole country, which will now not be permitted to open between midnight and 6am.
From 6pm on Friday, indoor events with more than 10 people may be held only on condition that each participant in the event has a designated place to sit. It will not be possible to sell tickets other than for a specific seat. Exceptions have been made for exhibitions, markets, fairs and similar events. The maximum allowed capacity of indoor events remains at 500 people.
“Due to the rapid increase in the number of new cases of covid-19 in the last week, the epidemiologists and I have decided to take further action to reduce social contact in high-risk surroundings without restricting cultural and sporting life. We continue to monitor the situation continuously and will evaluate it again after a week. At the moment, our priority is to stop the incipient exponential increase in positive cases. However, I cannot rule out further measures,” said Vojtěch on Wednesday.
It will be mandatory to wear facemasks in all school premises, including during lessons in the classroom, from this Friday. Only the first grades of primary schools will be exempt. Schools should also limit the running of mass events, Vojtěch recommended at the press conference today.
eRouška 2.0 Application Available From Friday
The eRouška 2.0 application will start working from Friday. “I ask everyone to download the application. It is a very important tool for us,” said Vojtěch. He also called on companies and citizens not to hold larger events such as parties, company training courses and team building activities.
Several countries have announced limits to travel from the Czech Republic. Find their list in our latest article: Sep 17th: Several Countries Order New Restrictions On Travel To and From Czech Republic.