The smart quarantine project now being tested in South Moravia will be
extended to North Moravia and Prague at the end of next week. After Easter,
the project is to be applied nation-wide and should gradually replace
The plan involves tracing past contacts of people who test positive for the virus five days back by creating “maps of their movements” with the help of banks and mobile phone operators. All those who they came into contact with are tested and quarantined until cleared. The plan is being implemented with the help of the army in order to speed up testing.
Czech and Moravian bishops have called on believers to mark the Easter
Vigil this year by lighting a candle in their windows after dark. They have
also appealed for believers to respect the government restrictions on
movement and watch the Holy Mass online.
The restrictions will also affect the pagan traditions that millions of people observe on Easter Monday. The Central Crisis Staff has asked people to celebrate Easter at home and refrain from carolling, visiting relatives and other community activities which could increase the spread of the coronavirus.
President Miloš Zeman met with his team of advisors on Saturday to discuss
the progression of the epidemic in Czech Republic, assess the measures
taken to date and the involvement of the police and army in securing the
country’s needs. The meeting was attended by the head of the Central
Crisis Staff, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček, Defence Minister Vladimír
Metnar and Police President Jan Švejdar. The police and emergency services
have been heavily involved in the operation and the army is reported to be
playing a key role in implementing the so-called smart quarantine in South
Minister Hamáček told journalists after the meeting the debate had been informative and constructive and had focussed on balancing safety with the need to sustain the economy as much as possible.
The president is expected to address the nation at midday on Sunday.
Teachers should not grade pupils at a time when school lessons are being
conducted online, the Education Ministry says in a set of recommendations
for teachers during the coronavirus crisis.
The ministry suggests replacing grades with a verbal assessment of progress made. It says schools should also take into account the time pressure on parents who are juggling home office duties and supervising the home learning process.
Teachers should focus on key subjects and decide on what can be incorporated into next year’s teaching plan, the ministry says.
It is not clear when children will be able to return to school and in the worst case scenario it may not be until the next school year.
The Central Crisis Staff is planning a representative survey of the degree
of coronavirus infestation in the population. Thousands of people are to
undergo testing in selected parts of the country: Prague, Olomouc and South
According to Ladislav Dušek, head of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics, there could be over 2000 people in the Czech Republic who are not aware of being COVID positive since they have no symptoms.
This is a grey zone in the population which we are trying to map in view of improving out prediction models, Dušek said.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic reached
4194 on Saturday morning, with a record increase of 332 cases registered on
359 people have been hospitalized due to complications and 77 of them are reported to be in serious condition.
56 people have died and 74 have fully recovered from the infection. Over 7,400 people have been tested to date.
Some 50,000 COVID-19 testing kits will be transported into regional depo
stations across the Czech Republic by police helicopters this weekend,
Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said on Friday. This, he said, will ensure
that all deposits have tests available.
Furthermore, the state will also begin distributing Czech made protective masks to the regions.
According to the interior minister, there is now a sufficient supply of face masks and respirators in the regions. However, there are complications with some of the materials needed for the production of testing kits, he said.
Deliveries of medical equipment from China will continue, with Czech relevant companies focusing on the production of high quality equipment.
The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Prague says it considers the removal of the statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev by Prague 6 municipal authorities to be in violation of the Czech-Russian Friendship Agreement from 1993 and has issued a protest to the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a Facebook post, the embassy wrote that the Czech side thereby broke one of the provisions which state that the Czech Republic will protect Russian military memorials. The embassy went on to say that the "demolition of I. S. Konev's statue will be met with an adequate reaction from the Russian side". Prague 6 says it will now put the statue into storage after which it will be eventually moved into the capital's planned Museum of the 20th Century.
The Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic has called on the
government to present its plan on the gradual lifting of restriction
measures for businesses by Easter.
Industry representatives are particularly interested in the conditions the government plans to put in place for companies to start operating again. This, because they need time to prepare, Confederation of Industry Vice-President Radek Špicar said in a videoconference on Friday.
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