Approximately 50 Czechs are quarantined in Egypt due to coronavirus
exposure, the Czech Foreign Ministry reported, saying that negotiations
were underway to have them repatriated. Most of them are tourists and
travel agency employees.
Another 50 are reported to be on their way back to the Czech Republic. There are estimated to be around 200,000 Czechs abroad.
The ministry as urged them to contact the nearest Czech embassy and return home as soon as possible. Those returning from “high-risk” countries will be automatically quarantined.
Czech Post has announced that it will close any outlets or counters which
are not protected by a glass partition, effective immediately, in order to
The measure will partially affect 146 outlets, four small post offices will be closed entirely. The company’s CEO Roman Knap said more restrictive measures were likely to follow.
Neither postal workers not cashiers in Czech shops have received protective gear.
The government, which is distributing it centrally and is short of a million respirators, says hospitals and paramedics are currently the top priority.
General practitioners who lack facemasks and respirators should not attend
to patients and restrict their activity to providing on-line services and
e-prescriptions, the Association of Czech General Practitioners said on
It further advised doctors who do not have protective gear to lock up their waiting rooms and only see patients with serious problems by appointment. The association has expressed concern over the lack of respirators and protective gear for a large number of GPs who are exposed to infection daily.
Czech pharmacists, who also lack respirators have appealed to people not to come in for medicaments if they are ill and send a healthy member of the family in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. They have also urged people not to visit pharmacies for things like dental care products or cosmetics.
The State Security Council has decided to severely limit free movement in
the Czech Republic from midnight March 16 to 6am March 24 in order to limit
the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš stressed that this is not a ban on leaving the house, but simply an attempt to limit people to going to work, shop for supplies and spend the rest of their time home. A two meter distance is to be kept between individuals.
Excemptions from the "ban on movement", as the prime minister dubbed it, are:
- going to work and moving for business purposes
- necessary visits of family and loved ones
- purchases of food, vital suplies, fuel and medicine
- use of necessary financial and postal services
- providing services for others, such as neighborhood assistance or volunteering
- the necessary escorting of relatives
- urgent official matters
- for police, health care or social care staff
- for those in the supply and distribution services
- veterinary care
- walks in nature and parks
Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said the council acted on advice from countries which have been successfully tackling the epidemic and that the Czech Republic was putting these measures in place ahead of states in other regions which are already feeling the brunt of the epidemic.
Senate elections have been delayed as has the deadline for sending in tax returns (newly July 1st).
Checks at border crossings with Germany and Austria will remain in place. No checks will be on the borders with Slovakia and Poland as these neighbours are checking the border from their side already, the Interior Minister said.
Regional administrations have been instructed to make space in specificaly chosen schools, kindergartens and other facilities that will be used to take care of the children of police and health care staff. Individual groups of children, which will be taught by teachers and other available staff, are not to exceed 15 members.
As of Sunday night there are 293 people infected with COVID-19 in the country.
The Czech Republic will designate two hospitals to specialise in treating
patients with severe cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection. It is
likely that one will be in Prague and the other in the Moravian city of
Brno, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said at a press briefing on Sunday
These hospitals will be outfitted with special lung ventilation equipment for patients.
The Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank will launch a special
coronavirus loan programme in order to support entrepreneurs, Trade and
Industry Ministry spokeswoman Štěpánka Filipová announced on Sunday.
Applications can be sent from Monday onwards, two weeks ahead of the original plan. The government has designated CZK 600 million to the programme.
As the government enacts ever tougher measures in order to curb the spread
of the COVID-19 coronavirus and businesses alow home office arangements,
many Czech families are choosing to travel to their cottages in the
country, or focus on individual sporting activities such as cycling, the
Czech News Agency writes.
Many are also taking advantage of the "take away" form of service offered by many gastronomical businesses after a shutdown on pubs and restaurants was put in place.
Meanwhile, the Archbishopric of Prague has published a manual for home worship on its website, as Church services are canceled.
PPF, the investment group owned by richest Czech Petr Kellner, tweeted on
Sunday that it will be donating 1.7 million N95 respirators, 1.8 million
surgical masks, 40,000 testing kits and 20,000 swabs to the Czech Republic
in order to help fight the coronavirus epidemic.
The 120 tons worth of equipment were purchased from China and Spain by PPF subsidiary Home Credit for CZK 100 million and will be ready for transport to the Czech Republic on Monday evening.
Many Czech hospitals are lacking facemasks and respirators during the
ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Health Minister Adam Vojtěch has said that some
50,000 respirators have been delivered to Czech medical facilities across
the country. However, he himself admitted that up to a million are needed.
Many of the regional officials questioned by Czech Radio have said that there are cases of only a few dozen or hundred being delivered.
Štěpán Votoček, the director of Slaný Hospital in Central Bohemia, the second most affected region in the country by coronavirus infections after Prague, was very critical of the current situation. Speaking to Czech Television, he said that the hospital has received no respirators thus far and has no information about when the deliveries will come. The hospital staff has therefore resorted to sewing together their own facemasks. Anyone can close schools and borders he said, but when it comes to sorting out infrastructural measures the state is not performing well.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš insisted on Saturday that hospitals are equiped with respirators. Further deliveries are set to arrive next week, the government has said.
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