With Easter around the corner and a glorious bout of spring weather belying the gravity of the coronavirus crisis, the government has moved to ease restrictions at least in some small measure which would allow people to get a breath of fresh air and enjoy the spring holidays. However masses and caroling are strictly banned.
The key figure in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic in the Czech Republic, Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula, has made a surprising U-turn in favour of herd immunity as a means of beating the virus. He also indicated that life in the Czech Republic could return to normal sooner than anticipated.
As the authorities take restrictive measures to try to get the coronavirus epidemic under control, NGOs are warning that behind the scenes of the evolving health crisis thousands of people could be experiencing their own private hell: the victims of domestic violence who are now trapped at home with an abuser 24 hours a day.
The Czech film industry expects to see a 75 percent drop in production by year’s end due to the coronavirus pandemic. The cinemas are closed, the production of foreign blockbusters and TV series have been suspended, and local filmmakers are all but restricted now to doing studio work. But it is not all bad news. Czech Film Commissioner Pavlína Žipková says development work is still pouring in, and most if not all big-money productions will likely return.
The travel ban instituted due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic has had an effect on the prices of rent within Prague, with some owners of Airbnb properties offering their flats for long-term rent instead. A wider impact on property prices is also possible, some experts say. In order to stimulate the housing market, the finance minister has proposed the cancellation of the real estate transfer tax.
The coronavirus pandemic is already changing our lives. Many everyday activities have moved into the virtual world. This applies especially to our social life but increasingly work and learning as well. Psychologists underline that the key to getting over this difficult time is to stay in touch and not to get into isolation. Vít Pohanka describes how he deals with the problem with his foreign students at the University of Pardubice.
As the Czech Republic continues its struggle to contain the growing number of coronavirus infections, some have pointed to the risks associated with the thousands of drug users and homeless people living on the streets. These may not only be at high risk from the virus, but, if not isolated, could help spread COVID-19 virus in their towns and cities.
The Czech civic initiative Covid19CZ was formed just a few weeks ago to try to harness technological, medical and engineering know-how to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus and treat patients in critical condition. The volunteer project now looks set to deliver open-sourced ventilators to Prague hospitals in a matter of days.