A team of Czech scientists is helping to map the occurrence of animals in
the Congolese wilderness, the ctk news agency reported.
In cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) they have laid dozens of photo traps in rainforests on the border between Congo and Gabon. They hope that by mapping wildlife in the area they will help protect the forests from extensive logging and other human activities.
According to a member of the team, zoologist Tomáš Jůnek, logging and mining activities in the area have gone further and progressed faster than expected. The damage caused to the environment is irrevocable, Jůnek said in an interview for the ctk news agency.
The Supreme Audit Office (NKU) will inspect state purchases of protective
gear during the coronavirus crisis, its president Miloslav Kala told the
news site HlídacíPes.org on Wednesday.
Kala said the office was planning to focus on a number of areas linked to the coronavirus crisis and the state of emergency which allowed the public sector to operate under different legal conditions, such as buying and commissioning materials and services without an open competition.
In recent days, the media reported that the Ministry of Health had purchased protective gear at a much higher cost than the Ministry of the Interior.
Hackers attempted to get into the computer system at the Czech Ministry of
the Interior last week, Lidovky.cz reported on Wednesday. A number of Czech
hospitals, the Ministry of Health and Prague Airport have all seen their
computer networks face attack recently.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior said somebody had attempted to find weaknesses in its computer system’s defences. The government department had previously received warnings from the Office for Cyber and Information Security and the police’s organised crime division, which investigates serious cyber crime.
Last 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.
Lidovky.cz reported that the local authorities were in contact with the US’s FBI in connection with the attempted hacking of facilities in the Czech Republic.
On Tuesday the Russian Embassy in Prague denied media reports that the attacks had been carried out by Russia.
Government leaders ANO say they will not seek to have the current state of
emergency extended beyond April 30. Party chief Andrej Babiš announced the
decision on TV Prima. The government initially imposed a 30-day state of
emergency on March 13 in view of the coronavirus situation. MPs later voted
to extend it to the end of this month.
The chairman of the junior party in the governing coalition, Jan Hamáček of the Social Democrats, had called for a further extension but said if Prime Minister Babiš was against there was no point in taking the matter to the lower house.
As of Wednesday morning, 201 people with Covid-19 had died in the Czech Republic. Over 7,000 cases have been detected to date.
Zoos around the Czech Republic are demanding to be allowed to reopen sooner
than the May 25 date set by the government, Novinky.cz reported. Only
outside areas of such facilities will be initially permitted to welcome
Eleven zoos, not including the one in Prague, have written an open letter to the government saying there is no difference between walking outdoors at a zoo and in a park, which is permitted.
Admission is zoos’ main source of income and the group estimate their losses in March and April at around CZK 100 million.
The monthly revenues of carmakers in the Czech Republic have fallen by an
estimated CZK 50 billion since the coronavirus crisis caused shutdowns in
production, according to figures released on Tuesday. In the case of
suppliers, the estimated figure is over CZK 17 billion lost in one month.
All three of the Czech Republic’s main automakers halted production in the middle of March. Only Hyundai has reopened its plant to date, but Škoda will re-launch production on Monday and TPCA will do so the following week.
Car making is one of the most important industries in the Czech Republic, with Škoda alone accounting for around nine percent of the country’s exports.
A draft Ministry of Foreign Affairs report warns that China kept
information about Covid-19 secret and is attempting to divide the West and
gain dominance, Aktuálně.cz wrote on Tuesday, saying it had acquired the
complete text of the study.
The news site said the report looking at how the coronavirus was changing the world had been commissioned by the Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček.
The text, which may be amended, states that China initially denied the existence of an epidemic and persecuted whistleblowers, sells rather than donates medical supplies, some of which are of doubtful quality, and is demonstrably employing propaganda.
The report says that China is attempting to use the fact the epidemic has peaked there to boost its international position, promote its system of governance and crisis readiness and reinforce a narrative of Western inability to cope with Covid-19, Aktuálně.cz wrote.
A government timetable for easing restrictions linked to Covid-19 could be
discriminatory toward many businesses, says the president of the Czech
Chamber of Commerce, Vladimír Dlouhý. Speaking at a news conference on
Tuesday, Mr. Dlouhý said that the roadmap for getting the economy going
again was too slow.
The head of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants, Václav Stárek, said forcing restaurants to remain closed until the end of May or early June could spell the end for many.
Some businesses were allowed to reopen on Monday as part of a five-stage government plan announced last week. Under the final stage, restaurants, hotels and shopping malls will be allowed to welcome customers again from June 8.
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.