Coronavirus update, April 6, 2021: Lowest number of new Covid cases since early December

Govt. to discuss reopening schools, opening of O2 universum vaccination center postponed, vaccination for people over 65 delayed. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 06.04.2021 09:10:00 (updated on 06.04.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Govt. to discuss reopening schools

The plan to return children to school, published last week by the Ministry of Health and Education, will be discussed by the government at today's meeting. Ministers could also look at what steps will be taken against Covid-19 in the aftermath of the state of emergency, which ends next Sunday, April 11. According to the government, children from the first stage of primary schools and preschoolers should return to schools from April 12. There will be rotational teaching at the first stage of elementary school, classes will take turns over weeks. Distance learning will remain in the second stage of primary schools. Schoolchildren will be tested twice a week by antigen tests. The plan was criticized last week by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. For example, he does not understand why only some children return to school. He was also annoyed by the proposal of an expert group at the Ministry of Health to open schools according to the epidemic situation in the districts.

Hamáček: shops, services, gradens could reopen at the end of April

Service outlets, shops and restaurant gardens could reopen at the end of April, Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Central Crisis Staff Jan Hamáček told daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD). He added that this was just his personal opinion and the schedule for dismantling the restrictions is still to be determined by the Health Ministry Hamáček also confirmed that the government will no longer demand an extension of the state of emergency, and as of April 12, restrictions on travel between districts and a ban on going out at night will no longer apply. According to Hamáček, the measures helped to reduce the spread of the disease. He also accused the opposition of pressure to uncontrollably loosen restrictions.

Opening of O2 universum vaccination center postponed

The largest vaccination center in the Czech Republic will not open as planned due to a lack of vaccines. The center at O2 universum in Prague was to have opened April 11, but according to the statement from the Central Military Hospital, which will operate the vaccination center, the opening date is postponed to the beginning of May. The staff of the planned center received a brief e-mail from the Central Military Hospital last week: "I am sorry to inform you that due to the insufficient amount of vaccine, the O2 universum vaccination center will not be opened to the public on April 11. The newly planned opening of the O2 universum vaccination center is scheduled for May 3." According to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, up to 10,000 people a day were to be vaccinated here during full operation. The agreement to lease the hall was signed by the hospital at the end of March, and it is being rented for a symbolic amount.

Vaccination registration for people over 65 postponed

People over the age of 65 will not be able to register for coronavirus vaccination until mid-April, not immediately after Easter, as originally planned. After the holidays, workers in field social services and non-residential social facilities will be able to report the vaccine, Health Minister Jan Blatný said.

"In mid-April, we plan to start vaccinating a group over 65 years of age. Compared to the original plan, this deadline is slightly shifted, because in the meantime registrations for the chronically ill have been opened," Blatný announced.

The same group should also include police officers, professional and volunteer firefighters or members of the prison service. According to Blatný, field social workers and those who work in non-residential social services can also start applying for the vaccine from Wednesday, April 7. From Tuesday, employees of supercritical infrastructure can also apply to the register.

Vaccination sped up in March

Health Minister Jan Blatný said the vaccination rate in March had doubled compared to previous months. "In March alone, 1 million vaccines were given. The second dose was given to 270,000 people, who completed the vaccination in March alone,” Blatný said. The Czech Republic ranks sixth in the European Union in terms of vaccination coverage, he said. According to Blatný, Pfizer / BioNTech is expected to deliver 3.5 million doses in May and June. Further deliveries are to come from Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson. This means that it will be possible to meet the announced percentages of immunization by the summer. "In August, there should be enough doses to vaccinate 8 million people," the minister said.

Lowest number of new cases since early December

There were 1,405 new Covid cases on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Dec, 6, according to the Health Ministry's data released this morning. Monday's number of new cases is a sharp week-on-week decrease by 5,500, but Monday was a national holiday, unlike the previous Monday, which was a workday. The number of Covid patients in hospitals slightly dropped to 5,709, including 1,291 in serious condition. The coronavirus death toll reached 27,169 since the start of the epidemic in March 2020. The PES infection risk index, which previously determined the lockdown restrictions, dropped to 52 points, from Monday's 55, as a result of the reproduction number R decreasing from 0.81 to 0.71, which is the lowest figure since mid-January. The other three indicators based on which PES is calculated have decreased as well. The infection index of 55 corresponds to the third risk degree out of five. The government lockdown restrictions, nevertheless, still correspond to the toughest fifth alert level.


Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (April 6, 2021)

  • New cases 1,405
  • Deaths 27,169
  • Currently hospitalized 5,709
  • PCR tests performed 6,325,799
  • Antigen tests performed 6,933,618
  • Reported vaccinations 1,818,756
  • PES index 52
  • R number 0.71
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