The results of a cross-sectional collective immunity study that will get
underway in the Czech Republic this week will be known at the start of May,
the minister of health, Adam Vojtěch, said on Tuesday. Around 27,000
people from parts of the country with different recorded levels of Covid-19
infection will be tested.
The tests will get underway on Wednesday in Prague, South Moravia and around the towns of Litoměřice and Litovel, Mr. Vojtěch told reporters. The results should help better predict the future development of the epidemic.
As of Tuesday morning, 196 people with the new coronavirus had died in the Czech Republic. Over 6,900 cases have been detected to date.
The Czech lower house is unlikely to lift the parliamentary immunity of
Karla Maříková, an MP with Tomio Okamura’s Freedom and Direct
Democracy party. Police had been seeking to file hate speech charges
against the deputy. However, the lower house’s Mandate and Immunity
Committee did not come to a unanimous position on the matter, the Czech
News Agency reported.
In a Facebook post in January 2019 Ms. Maříková compared immigrants to invasive species of plants and animals and said they should be banned from entering the European Union.
The Czech government has approved raising the state budget deficit for this
year to a record CZK 300 billion in view of the coronavirus crisis. At the
end of last month the Chamber of Deputies voted to increase this year’s
budget deficit to CZK 200 billion from the previously planned CZK 40
On Monday the cabinet also agreed to continue providing CZK 500 a day as a one-off contribution to the self-employed after the previously agreed date of April 30. The system will remain in place until the end of June. The Ministry of Finance previously said that up to 700,000 people could apply for this money.
Russia has denied responsibility for a series of cyber attacks on medical
facilities in the Czech Republic. After reports in the Czech media linking
the attacks to Russia, the country’s embassy in Prague said in a
statement that it was a fabrication and open provocation. It also accused
the Czech secret services of feeding information blaming Moscow to domestic
On Friday the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said his country was concerned about cyber attacks against Czech hospitals that had taken place in the preceding days, which he said could cause deadly results during the coronavirus crisis.
Police in Prague said they had investigated nearly 2,500 misdemeanors at
the weekend linked to measures aimed at curbing the coronavirus. A
spokesperson said the most frequent issue had been people not covering
their mouth and nose, which is now compulsory. In almost all cases a
warning was enough to resolve the situation.
Members of the public called a police hotline to report young people in parks and homeless people not wearing masks. They also complained about cyclists not covering their faces in crowded spots.
The head of the Czech Republic’s coronavirus task force, Jan Hamáček,
says that if the current state of emergency is not extended beyond April 30
it could cause a number of complications. Mr. Hamáček, who is also
interior minister, said on Monday that it would no longer be possible, for
instance, to purchase protective equipment centrally or to control the
regime at the country’s borders.
An initial 30-day state of emergency imposed by the government on March 12 was extended by MPs until the end of April. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš had been seeking another 30-day period.
The majority of professional soccer players in the Czech Republic returned
to limited training on Monday, over a month after the coronavirus situation
forced them to begin doing individual training at home. The footballers
have begun training in groups of eight or fewer at many clubs and must
adhere to strict hygiene guidelines.
There are six rounds of the domestic top flight league remaining. Those games are due to be followed by a “superstructure” in which the table is divided into three sections and teams play one another to decide the final order.
Some restrictions imposed to help combat the spread of Covid-19 were lifted
in the Czech Republic on Monday. In the first stage of a road map unveiled
by the government last week, workshops operated by various artisans,
farmers’ markets, car showrooms and car repair centres are now allowed to
open, provided they meet certain hygiene criteria.
From next Monday shops under 200 square metres not in shopping malls will be allowed to reopen. On May 11 the same will apply to shops of over 1,000 square metres. More services will resume on May 27 while on June 8 shopping malls, restaurants and hotels will open again.
First year university students were also allowed to return on Monday for tuition in small groups.