New Health Minister Arenberger To Replace PES System
Reports of a new amended version of the anti-epidemic system (PES) have been rejected by new Health Minister Petr Arenberger and the Minister of Industry and Trade, Karel Havlíček. Arenberger underlined the need to evaluate the operation of the current PES and use it to create a new system. Photo: Health Minister Petr Arenberger at the press conference on April 7. Credit: Vlada.cz.
Czech Rep., Apr 12 (BD) – Media reports last week of a new amended version of the anti-epidemic system (PES) have been rejected by the new Health Minister Petr Arenberger and Minister of Industry and Trade, Karel Havlíček. According to Havlíček, the changes to the PES rules that leaked to the media last week were based on a working version being prepared by the team of former Health Minister Jan Blatný. “Yesterday I had a meeting with the new minister Arenberger, and a different system is being created to replace the old PES,” said Havlíček. The new chief hygienist Pavla Svrčinová guaranteed a new approach for the anti-epidemic system, saying: “We need to use different parameters and take vaccination into account.”
Havlíček stressed that the PES system was not “fundamentally wrong”, but said he anticipated a similar system to the one in operation in Spring 2020. He added that the government definitely does not want to claim any certainty yet regarding the potential relaxation of measures. However, the possibility of further loosening of measures will depend on the number of people infected in the next fourteen days.
Arenberger commented on the issue at his first press conference on Friday, saying: “We will go in a different direction. Forget PES, if it’s not your dog in the backyard.” (In Czech, “pes” also means “dog”.) The new minister also underlined the need to evaluate the operation of the current PES system and use it to create a new system. Asked why it was not possible simply to continue with the current system prepared by the previous management, Arenberger replied: “Basically, whoever wants, can still call it PES, but I might move away from that wording a bit, as it will be a different system in terms of its logic.”
PES was introduced by the recently-departed Health Minister Jan Blatný. The purpose of the system was to define five levels of epidemic emergency, which were associated with different measures for various areas of social life.