The past winter season was the worst in the past six years, the Czech
Mountain Resorts Association said on Thursday. Czech ski resorts were
affected by poor snow conditions and the season had to be ended prematurely
due to the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the association’s head, Libor Knot, Czech mountain resorts are now getting ready for the summer season. He also said the past few summers saw an increase in visitor numbers in the country’s mountain resorts by around five percent.
The Easter holidays appear to have had no effect on the growth of Covid-19
cases in the Czech Republic, according to data from the Institute of Health
Information and Statistics presented on Thursday. According to the head of
the institute, Jaroslav Dušek, the country can now start a gradual and
controlled return to normal life.
The number of people with confirmed coronavirus infection reached 7,136 on Thursday morning, according to data released by the Czech Ministry of Health. 210 people have died and over 2,000 have recovered from the disease. The predictive model suggests there could be around 7,800 coronavirus cases in the country by the end of April.
A cross-sectional collective study aimed at establishing the level of
Covid-19 infection within the population has got underway in the Czech
Republic. As of Thursday morning, people can get tested at testing points
in Prague, Brno and Litoměřice. On Friday, blanket testing will also be
launched in the Moravian towns of Olomouc, Litovel and Uničov.
Altogether, some 27,000 people from all parts of the country with different recorded levels of Covid-19 infection will be tested. While certain target groups have been selected by the Czech Statistics Office and the Academy of Sciences, people have been encouraged to voluntarily take part in the study. The results are expected to be available at the beginning of May.
Jan Hamáček, head of the junior coalition party of Social Democrats, has
said the party will defend its position on extending the state of emergency
in the country beyond April 30.
He said the state of emergency would allow the government to respond to the country’s needs more swiftly, such as in purchasing protective gear for the state sector centrally, without having to hold an open competition.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Wednesday he was against an extension, arguing that the state of emergency had already served its purpose and the government restrictions were not dependent on it.
However he said the government would take into account the arguments of epidemiologists on the matter before coming to a final decision on whether to ask the lower house for an extension.
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 April.
The planned reopening of shops and services in the Czech Republic could be
speeded up if the epidemiological situation in the country allows, Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš told Czech Television on Wednesday.
The prime minister said the government would decide on whether this would be possible after getting the latest COVID 19 data from the Health Ministry on Thursday.
If the results are good, the phased-out reopening process could be shortened by a fortnight enabling all shops and services to open by May 25.
The government has been under pressure from the opposition and entrepreneurs to loosen the restrictions faster in order to minimize the losses.
The Social Democrats of the ruling coalition have slammed the former Czech
president, Václav Klaus, for inciting people to rebel against the
government restrictions taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus
In an interview for the news site Novinky.cz Klaus said he was alarmed by the restrictions imposed on businesses and freedom of movement, saying that the looming economic recession was, in his view, a much bigger threat than the coronavirus pandemic and someone should lead a public rebellion against the restrictions enforced.
Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček said Mr. Klaus was acting irresponsibly by speaking as he did and that by downplaying the danger of the pandemic he was acting like the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un or the Belarusian leader, Alexander Lukashenko.
Most world leaders are listening to the advice of epidemiologists and treating the matter seriously, Hamáček said.
Czechs have invested massively into an initiative to help tide over pubs
during the coronavirus crisis. The "Save the Pub" initiative
launched by the Czech Association of Breweries and Malthouses, has raised
seven million crowns in less than a month.
Pub regulars and people willing to support the Czech pub culture are buying vouchers for food and drinks at their favourite haunt when pubs reopen.
Pub regulars are spending on average CZK 360,000 a day on beer and food to be consumed “in better times” to keep local pubs afloat.
Approximately 50,000 pubs in the Czech Republic were forced to close as a result of government measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.
Starting today, April 22, people who have been placed in quarantine will
need to screen negative for the COVID 19 virus before the quarantine can be
officially terminated, according to a new regulation passed by the
According to the government regulation the tests should be conducted by GPs and can only be performed a fortnight after the quarantine has started. The move is to prevent infected people without symptoms spreading the disease.
However many GPs say they still lack the rapid test kits required and have had to send patients to the nearest hospital for testing.
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.