Book World Prague has become the latest Czech arts event affected by the
coronavirus crisis. The book fair had been due to begin in Prague in mid
May but has now been postponed until October. Organiser Radovan Auer said
even if the authorities permitted the annual event people would be afraid
The Czech arts scene has been hard hit by restrictions, with numerous events cancelled or postponed and the fates of many others scheduled for the coming months unclear.
The police have arrested a man who threatened the mayor of Prague, Zdeněk
Hřib, after he introduced measures aimed at curtailing the spread of the
coronoavirus. The man has been charged with blackmail over the threats,
which were made by telephone on Wednesday afternoon. He could face up to
four years in jail if found guilty.
Mr. Hřib has brought in a number of measures linked to the coronavirus, including entering public transport or civic buildings without face cover.
The number of flights to and from Prague’s Václav Havel Airport
continues to fall. On Thursday there were 110 scheduled arrivals and
departures, which is around 70 percent below the usual number, the Czech
News Agency reported. While operations at the airport will decline further
in the coming days they will continue, an official said.
Since Monday Czechs have been barred from travelling to a number of countries considered high risk by the Prague authorities under measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. Foreigners are not allowed to enter Czech territory.
President Miloš Zeman granted two pardons on Thursday. One was to a man
who was serving a jail term for failing to pay alimony and saved
somebody’s life by providing first aid. The other was to a man in prison
for obstructing the execution of an official decision and making threats
while intoxicated who now has severe heart problems.
The head of state has now granted 14 pardons during seven years in office. Before his initial election Mr. Zeman pledged to only use that presidential power for a limited number of humanitarian reasons.
The State Institute for Drug Control has called on Czechs not to hoard
medicines containing paracetamol, Czech Television reported. There is now a
shortage of such drugs in this country. Pharmacies reported on Wednesday
that they were running low on the brands Paralen and Ibalgin. They reduce
fevers, one of the symptoms of the Covid-19 disease.
A representative of the State Institute for Drug Control said sales of the best-selling medicines of that type had more than tripled in recent weeks. Over 300,000 boxes, the usual number for one month, were sold in only a week.
State broadcaster Czech Television is set to launch a new channel for
seniors forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus crisis. Named CT3, it
will go on air for the first time on Monday and run from 9:00 to 5:25
The move follows the successful launch of UčíTelka, a daily block of teaching programming for the country’s children, whose schools have been closed.
Czech TV director general Petr Dvořák says CT3 is for now a provisional channel, adding that it will be covered by money saved on projects that have had to be halted.
A number of measures came into effect in the Czech Republic on Thursday as
part of the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the new
coronavirus. It is now compulsory to cover one’s mouth and nose anywhere
in public while food retailers and pharmacists are only permitted to serve
customers aged 65 or over between 10 am and noon every day. Spa facilities
have been barred from accepting new clients.
On Thursday early evening the number of registered cases of the Covid-19 disease had climbed to 694. A number of people are in a serious condition and three have recovered. Over 9,400 tests have been carried out.
The head of the Central Crisis Staff, Roman Prymula, says he expects restrictive measures to remain in place in the Czech Republic for around a month. He said the closure of the country’s borders was likely to continue for longer as long as other countries had not dealt with the situation surrounding the coronavirus.
The Czech government could support Czech businesses hit by the effects of
the coronavirus crisis to the tune of up to CZK 1 trillion, Prime Minister
Andrej Babiš said on Wednesday. Speaking after a cabinet meeting on
Wednesday, Mr. Babiš told journalists that figure could include CZK 100
billion in direct aid and CZK 900 in guarantees.
The minister of industry and trade, Karel Havlíček, said the government was conducting analyses and that the planned direct aid could go toward compensation for wage payments, remission of levies, financial injections and short-time working.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Finance expects to raise the projected state budget deficit for this year, Minister Alena Schillerová said. A deficit of CZK 40 billion had been envisaged but that will now increase by tens of billions, the Czech News Agency reported.
The Czech government has approved a ban on going out anywhere in public
while not wearing a surgical mask or covering one’s nose and mouth with a
scarf, the news site iRozhlas.cz reported, citing the minister of foreign
affairs, Tomáš Petříček. The measure is due to come into effect from
midnight on Wednesday.
The minister of health, Adam Vojtěch, confirmed the move on Twitter, writing that all citizens had to protect themselves and their surroundings.
A number of Czech regions, including Prague, had already brought in compulsory mouth and nose covering on public transport and in other places.
Many Czechs have been producing homemade masks due to a shortage in shops. The government says that they should become available to the public following a large shipment next weekend.
The government has also ordered that all shops only serve customers aged 65 and over between 10 am and noon. That provision comes into effect on Thursday.
As of Wednesday at 2 pm there were 464 registered cases of Covid-19 in the Czech Republic. Three people are in a serious condition and three have recovered.
Milan Kundera is a ‘moral relativist’ with much to hide, says Czech author of controversial new biography
Czech Republic opens up to more tourists from Europe and beyond as coronavirus travel restrictions eased
Brno scientists pair with Czech biotech firm to develop healing artificial tears
Czech nation pays tribute to Milada Horáková on 70th anniversary of her judicial murder
Facemask requirement eased but new restrictions for area hit by spike in Covid-19 cases