The Czech Republic will contribute CZK 10 million to help tackle the
coronavirus epidemic currently afflicting China, Foreign Minister Tomáš
Petříček (Social Democrats) announced on Monday. The aid is to be
distributed through international organizations in consultation with the
World Health Organization.
A financial contribution was proposed by Mr Petříček during the weekend after Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said that the Czech Republic is unable to send medical equipment such as facemasks, because they are needed in case of an emergency.
The Czech ministries of foreign affairs and health are also in discussions regarding the possible lease of ambulances, which are needed in China to transport infected patients into quarantine zones. Furthermore, government departments are negotiating the possible involvement of Czech experts, such as epidemiologists.
Karolina Plíšková is no longer the second best tennis player in the
world according to WTA Tour rankings. Following her early exit in the third
round of the Australian Open, she fell to third place behind Ashleigh Barty
and Simona Halep. Meanwhile, Petra Kvitová, who lost to Ms Barty in the
quarterfinals of the tournament, has dropped to eleventh place. In the
doubles category, Barbora Strýcová fell from first to second place behind
Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei, with whom she won the Wimbledon Grand Slam last
The highest ranking Czech in the men’s singles category is Jiří Veselý, who is outside the top 100.
To prevent the spread of the coronavirus epidemic the Czech government has
approved the cancellation of direct flights to and from China for an
indefinite period. The new measure will come into effect on Sunday,
February 9, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš told Czech Television.
The start date is adjusted so that around 100 Czech citizens, who are in China and want to return home, have the opportunity, Mr Babiš said. If some Czechs do remain stranded in China, the state is ready to send a government plane.
Prague Airport currently runs 12 direct flights a week with China, which transported 188,000 passengers in 2019.
Five Czechs and two Slovaks evacuated from Wuchan, the Chinese city at the
epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, are asymptomatic but will be
quarantined in a Prague hospital.
The group arrived at Prague’s international airport in early the small hours of Monday on a special transport, after first having been flown by France to Brussels upon a request from the Czech diplomacy.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) told reporters at a special briefing that two of the repatriated Czechs had been studying in Wuchan. He said another hundred citizens will be returned from China.
At the same briefing, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) said a government Airbus will be booked for their possible evacuation.
As of Saturday, no-one in the Czech Republic, including other 38 people believed at risk of contracting coronavirus, had tested positive for it.
Ivan Král, a rock guitarist an award-winning producer who immigrated to
the United States in 1966, died on Sunday at the age of 71.
During his storied career, he worked with the likes of Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, David Bowie and the band Blondie.
Král was perhaps best known for his work with Smith, with whom he co-wrote song “Dancing Barefoot,” listed among Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Dancing Barefoot has been covered some 70 times by artists such as U2, Pearl Jam and Johnny Depp.
Average Prague rental prices fell by 1.5 percent last year to 335 crowns
per square metre but rose on average by 2.6 percent outside the Czech
capital, according to the developer Trigema.
Of the 10 central Prague districts, rental prices dropped in four: Prague 3 (-9.1 percent), Prague 1 (-7.2 percent) and Prague 2 (-2.3 percent). The highest increases were recorded in Prague 9 (3.7 percent) and Prague 6 (2.9 percent).
However, Prague rental prices are expected to rise again in 2020, as well as in the second-biggest city, Brno, said company CEO Marcel Soural.
Five Czechs evacuated from China due to fear of contracting the deadly
coronavirus are due to land in Belgium on Sunday and then be transported to
Prague, where they will be placed in hospital quarantine for two weeks.
The five Czechs, along with two Slovaks, left China aboard a French plane under an arrangement between the respective countries’ foreign ministries.
More than 300 people in China have died from coronavirus, declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization last week as it spread to at least 25 other countries.
As of Saturday, no-one in the Czech Republic, including 37 people believed at risk, had tested positive for coronavirus.
Most Czechs agree the nation’s military troops should take part in
foreign missions, according to a flash poll taken after the government’s
proposal on Monday to send more troops to bolster UN Missions in Mali,
Niger and Chad.
A Median survey conducted for Czech Radio found two-thirds of respondents supported sending troops abroad – but more than half say they should be UN-approved missions only.
In total, nearly Czech 650 soldiers are now deployed in foreign operations. The survey came as MPs began discussing amending constitutional law to allow the government to decide on sending Czech soldiers on future missions without seeking approval by parliament.
The move is supported by the government coalition (ANO and the Social Democrats), and the opposition Civic Democrat, TOP 09 and Christian Democrat parties.
The initiative ‘A Million Moments for Democracy’ has filed a lawsuit
against the Communist party and its chairman for falsely linking the group
with a cyberattack on a hospital. ‘Million Moments’ is demanding a
The hospital in Benešov, central Bohemia, was hit by a cyberattack on December 11 that paralyzed the institution for days since staff were unable to use x-ray, ultrasound and electronic laboratory equipment and could not exchange information with other hospitals.
Million Moments has since last April been staging large protests calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) over alleged subsidy fraud and conflict of interest.
At a central committee meeting last month, Communist party chairman Vojtěch Filip criticized the tactics of the initiative, and claimed, among other things, they staged a “cyber terrorist attack on the hospital” in Benešov.
Babiš’s minority coalition government of relies on the support of the Communists, giving the party a political say for the first time since 1989. In exchange for its tolerance, the Communists have won some major policy concessions.
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Janek Rubeš: The only question I get – and there are thousands of them – is, Can we come to Prague?