Coronavirus: Czech schools close, large events banned

10-03-2020 updated

The National Security Council has decided to close all primary and secondary schools as of Wednesday to try to contain the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced. A ban on public events with over 100 people attending goes into effect on Tuesday evening. Universities have also cancelled classes.

Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch said it is necessary to be take active, exceptional measures at the start of an epidemic. Kindergartens and pre-school will remain open, he said, because young children are far less likely to contract the new coronavirus, and such closure would greatly impact their parents.

Forty people in the Czech Republic have been infected with the new coronavirus, Vojtěch announced earlier. Almost all cases can be traced to the outbreak in Northern Italy. However, among those infected is a Prague taxi driver, who may be a source of community-borne infection.