Czechs will join millions of people around the globe in turning off their
lights for 60 minutes on Saturday night for the Earth Hour campaign against
In the Czech Republic, the hour begins at 8:30pm. Some of the capital’s best-known landmarks, including Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square and the Žižkov TV tower, will go dark.
The lights will be turned off at these sights in the order of their creation, starting from the 12th century to the 21st century, each of which is represented by a particular site.It aims to show that humankind would not have gotten this far without a hospitable environment.
Prague and other cities around the country first marked Earth Hour in 2012. Over 150 towns and cities are expected to join the campaign this year.
Crime has fallen in the Czech capital since the state of emergency was
declared, with the Prague 3-Žižkov district even recording a drop of up
to 50 percent over the past 14 days, iRozhlas.cz reported.
Prague Police spokesperson Eva Kropáčová told the Czech Radio news server that speculation on social networks that thieves would take advantage of quarantine measures has proven false.
Police are monitoring social networks for hoaxes and alarmist postings, and have warned that related offences are punishable by up to eight years in prison.
Under the state of emergency, sentences for shoplifting, burglary and some petty crimes have temporarily risen threefold or more. The aim is especially to deter the theft of food and other essentials.
President Miloš Zeman has rejected a call to grant amnesty to prisoners
serving short sentences for minor offences, aimed at reducing high
concentrations of people during the coronavirus pandemic.
His spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said on Twitter that Zeman, “unlike his two predecessors, is a fundamentally opposed to blanket amnesties” and further thinks it’s a bad idea given the current epidemiological and economic situation.
Petr Toman, a partner in the law firm Toman, Devátý & Partneři, sent the proposal to the president on Thursday. Among other things, it also suggesting granting amnesty to some people under house arrest.
Meanwhile, the Prison Service has distributed sewing machines and other equipment to prisoners so they can make protective facemasks for themselves and others.
The number of coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic rose by 373 on
Friday, the largest number in a single day. On average last week, the
number rose by 10 to 20 percent daily, according to the Ministry of Health.
As of Saturday morning, there were 2,422 confirmed infections, 11 people had recovered from the coronavirus, and 9 people (mostly with existing health conditions) had died of it. So far, 36,374 tests have been carried out.
Meanwhile, another retirement home has reported a large number of cases and been place in quarantine: a facility near Havlíčkův Brod said 10 residents and 2 staff members tested positive.
According to the Association of Social Service Providers, 90 percent of retirement homes and similar facilities do not have high-standard (FFP3) respirators.
Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch said on Twitter on Thursday that the ministry would send 200,000 respirators to senior homes that night.
The amount of people using public transport in Prague has gone down by 80
percent since mid-February, while traffic is down by more than a third in
the centre, Prague City Hall announced on Friday.
According to Deptuy Mayor for Transport Adam Scheinherr the major decrease came after the government passed restrictions to free movement that came into effect on March 16.
Leading publishers in the Czech republic have launched a joint initiative
wherein every day one of the country's popular authors will read an
excerpt from their book to viewers on YouTube. The project began this
Friday with journalist and former US corespondent for Czech Television
Martin Řezníček reading from his new book Divided States (Rozelle
státy), which is based on his experiences while he was in America.
Other authors who will be reading from their books in the coming days are Michael Žantovský, Miloš Urban and former Radio Prague reporter Pavla Horáková.
The publishers, who have been hit heavily by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic measures, are hoping the project will remind readers that their books can still be bought online.
Large hospitals have to begin operating in the state's crisis
financing system, otherwise they will go bankrupt, the director of
Prague's General Faculty Hospital David Feltl said at a press
conference on Friday.
He said the current "peacetime" model of hospital financing is insufficent to cover the extreme rise in prices for equipment needed to combat the COVID-19 cornavirus.
As far as protective equipment at the Prague General Faculty Hospital is concerned, Mr Feltl said that the hospital is sufficiently equiped. However, it lacks testing equipment.
Some 259 caes of coronavirus infections were registered in the Czech
Republic on Thursday, a decline of around 30 percent as opposed to
Wednesday when the number of daily infections peaked.
As of Friday mid-day there were 2,062 cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 10 patients fully recovered and 9 dead.
A male COVID-19 patient who was taken into Prague's Faculty Hospital
folowing lung failure is recovering and has been taken off extracorporeal
life support. News appeared that this was a result of him being granted
experimental treatment incvolving the drug known as redemsivir. However,
the head of the Anastesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Care Unit, Jan
Bláha, said on Friday that there was no reason for optimism yet.
Furthemore, doctors from the hospital have said that the patient's
ilness began improving before he took the drug.
The patient received the medication as part of experimental treatment. However, many others who asked for redemsivir treatment have been declined due to the limited numbers of the drug.
Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula said that the state is negotiating further use of the drug with supliers.
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