Babiš: Plan for reopening Czech businesses, schools could be unveiled on Friday

The Czech Prime Minister told journalists today that prospects for reopening could be more clear by the end of the week


Written by ČTK Published on 04.11.2020 16:08:00 (updated on 04.11.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, Nov 4 (CTK) - Friday might bring clearer prospects for the reopening of Czech schools and businesses, PM Andrej Babiš (ANO) told journalists after his talks with Bavarian Minister President Markus Soder today.

Statistics suggest that the spread of COVID-19 has stopped rising, Babiš added.

Health Minister Jan Blatný (for ANO) will present an updated coronavirus development model on Friday. That model could include steps for easing the current anti-COVID-19 restrictions, according to Babiš.

The Prime Minister mentioned a draft plan for easing the current anti-coronavirus restrictions when asked about a possible border closure, which he ruled out.

"So far, it seems that the increase [in new daily COVID-19 cases] has not continued in our country," Babiš said. He added that key information concerning further prospects of reopening of schools and shops will be shared on Friday.

Blatný said on Monday that in cooperation with the epidemiological team, he has been working on a new model that should guide decisions related to toughening or easing the measures.

"I believe I will be able to present it soon," he added. The first version of that model should be revealed on Friday.

Babiš had previously mentioned a table similar to the one published by experts in Ireland. Based on the reproduction number (R number), COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations a day, the chart outlines five levels of different anti-coronavirus steps.

It would be better for the Czech Republic to decide its steps according to the number of new cases, Babiš said.

Recent days have seen the coronavirus spread slowing down in the Czech Republic. Blatný said the data for Tuesday and Wednesday would be crucial for the epidemic development.

Despite a slight drop in hospitalizations, he said he expects their numbers to further rise for some time and the situation to improve in 10 to 14 days.

Hospitals significantly reduced non-urgent treatments in October, and the free capacity has been transformed into COVID-19 in-patient units.

Thanks to this strategy, the number of available hospital beds has been falling more slowly than the number of new hospitalizations would otherwise indicate.

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