The government is planning to purchase 3.7 billion crowns worth of medical
equipment and protective gear for the country’s State Material Reserves
in preparation for a potential second wave of the coronavirus pandemic,
Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlíček told journalists after Monday’s
Individual ministries have been asked to state their requests for protective equipment by June 8. Suppliers will be selected via open tenders according to the Public Procurement Act.
In the first wave of the pandemic the government had inadequate material reserves and the Health Ministry came under fire for purchasing severely overpriced protective gear in an effort to supply hospitals with basic necessities such as face masks and disinfectant.
Individual purchases are now being checked by the Supreme Audit Office.
The government is planning to ease restrictions on the country’s borders
as of May 26, Czech Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček tweeted following
Monday’s cabinet session. Mr. Hamáček said that as of that date it
would be possible to enter or leave the country via a larger number of
crossing points and controls would be conducted on a random basis. Details
of the arrangement are to be settled and released next week.
Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula, who has led the fight against the coronavirus epidemic in the Czech Republic, said on Monday he would support the lifting of border restrictions with Austria and Slovakia in the near future. He said easing travel to Germany and Poland was problematic since both countries’ border regions still present a risk of importing the spread of coronavirus to the Czech Republic.
A two-month long state of emergency declared over the coronavirus crisis
ended at midnight on Sunday, May 17.
Some of the restrictions introduced in order to curb the spread of the virus during the state of emergency will remain in place, such as the obligation to wear face-masks in public places.
Indoor premises of restaurants, pubs and cafes will also remain closed until May 25th which will bring a further easing of restrictions.
The restrictions are now in force under the law on public health.
According to the Supreme Audit Office the Czech state does not have a good
overview of its museum collections.
Their administration and registration is fragmented, data on artefacts differ and the rules in place are only general. The office voiced the criticism on the basis of inspections focussing on the administration of museum collections owned by the state undertaken between 2016 and 2018.
According to auditors, the records of collection items in museums and galleries were often incomplete and the employees in charge of a collection were unable to explain missing objects, which had most likely been lost or stolen.
In the course of the two-year audit in ten museums and galleries some 3,000 registered artefacts were never found.
The Supreme Audit Office has laid the blame on the Ministry of Culture saying it did little to control administrators.
The Museum of Southeast Moravia in Zlín has announced the discovery of
rare parchments from the end of the fourteenth century in its collection.
While sifting through archive materials the museums’ employees discovered four pages from a liturgical book containing texts, prayers and blessings used by priests during Holy Mass throughout the year.
The Latin text is written mostly in black ink, with only some initial letters or words highlighted in red and blue.
Until now, the oldest book in the museum‘s collection was considered to be a Greek grammar book printed in 1535 in Basel. The parchments are now being studied by experts.
The Czech army is preparing to take command of the EU mission in Mali in
June. The Czechs will take over from the Portuguese, and remain in charge
of the operation for a period of six months.
Brigadier General František Ridzák who will head the mission is to travel to Mali with around 40 soldiers to reinforce the 120-strong contingent already there. Their main task will be to continue in the training of Mali’s army, which is fighting Islamic radicals in the country.The training was suspended in April due to the coronavirus crisis.
It will be the first time that a military mission on African soil is commanded by an officer from a Central European country, showing Prague’s significant commitment in this area. Czech soldiers have served in the EU mission in Mali since 2013.
Czech Airlines on Monday resumed passenger flights to three destinations
after a break of two months caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Czech
Airlines is now flying to Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
The carrier, which is part of the Smartwings Group, also plans to resume operation on its lines to Kiev and Odessa later in May, provided mandatory quarantine restrictions are terminated in Ukraine by then.
Czech Airlines and Smartwings suspended all flights from and to the Czech Republic on March 13 after the government declared state of emergency, grounding 23 planes at the country’s four international airports.
The number of coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic rose by 20 on Sunday,
which is the lowest number in the past eight days, according to Czech
Health Ministry statistics.
The number of registered cases has reached 8,475. 298 people have died and 5,462 have recovered from the disease. At the moment, 175 people are hospitalized with Covid-19, around 40 of them are in serious condition.
The number of newly registered Covid-19 infections has remained under 100 over more than two weeks now.
17 miners from the Darkov mine near the Silesian town of Karviná have
tested positive for Covid-19 and five members of their families have also
been infected with the virus, the Czech News Agency reported on Sunday.
According to the head of the regional hygienic station, a blanket testing
will be carried out in the mine starting on Monday.
After the outbreak of the virus, the Darkov mine introduced strict hygienic measures, including regular disinfecting of the premises. Employees are required to wear gloves, eye protection and FFP2 respirators and have their temperature checked upon their arrival at work.