Coronavirus update: Aug. 2, 2021: Rules increasing capacity for culture and sports take effect

Plus: Babiš hopes other employees will get vaccination leave, Pfizer and Moderna raise vaccine prices, Slovakia starts vaccination lottery. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 02.08.2021 09:28:00 (updated on 02.08.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

Lockdown rules for sports, culture partly relaxed

Up to 7,000 people outside and 3,000 inside are allowed to watch sports and cultural events as of Sunday, Aug. 1, instead of the previous 5,000 and 2,000, respectively, provided they have a negative coronavirus tests, were inoculated, or underwent Covid in the past 180 days. The capacity of the events may be fully used, but only people after Covid or with the vaccine can come beyond the mentioned limits. The mandatory distance between the standing spectators is reduced. It was four square meters per person and the distance is newly just two. Now it is permitted to dance in dance halls provided there will be the clean bill of health. Operators of exhibitions and similar internal spaces are now able to choose whether to observe the limit of visitors per square meter, valid now, or whether to newly use 75 percent of their capacity, In the swimming pools, the capacity is no longer limited. However, swimming pools may still only be entered by those inoculated, having had Covid in the past 180 days or presenting an antigen or PCR test. With regard to organized tours of castles and zoos, the clean bill of health will not have to be confirmed if there are fewer than 20 people.  The changed were announced last week

Pfizer and Moderna raise vaccine prices

Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna have raised prices for Covid-19 vaccines in recent agreements with the EU. The Pfizer vaccine is about a quarter higher, Moderna is about 10 percent more expensive, according to The Financial Times. Pfizer and Moderna will earn tens of billions of dollars on vaccines this year, as many countries will want to sign new contracts with them, among other things due to the spread of a more contagious Delta variant, FT reported. The new price for a dose of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is equivalent to CZK 497, while in previous agreements it was CZK 395. In the last agreement with the EU, Moderna then asked for CZK 548 for one dose, while previously it wanted CZK 485 crowns. Pfizer and Moderna do not comment on the content of their contracts.  

Babiš hopes other employees will also receive vaccination leave

The government has decided on two days of vaccination leave only for employees of organizations within its competence. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has called on the regions and other authorities to do the same in the case of their institutions.

"We can decide on the organizations and institutions that we have in our competence. This means that they are all police officers, soldiers, firefighters and, of course, paramedics. And we called on the regions, governors to make the same decision," Babiš said.

He reminded that the regions are responsible for some schools and that there are also some hospitals under the regions. "I hope that they will also give it to the teachers, or to the paramedics in the hospitals that belong to them," the prime minister said. He added that he had already called on the chairman of the Association of Regions, Martin Kuba, and also discussed this with the association of municipalities. According to Babiš, in the case of two days' paid leave, the government was inspired by private companies, he named OKD and Škoda Auto.

Babiš calls for more mobile vaccination teams

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said mobile vaccination teams now have to bring vaccinations closer to more people. He called on the regions to set them up in his regular Sunday appearance on Facebook. According to Babiš, there are now eight mobile units that vaccincate. The number of places where people can be vaccinated without prior registration has risen to 71, he said.

Measles almost wiped out during Covid epidemic in Czech Republic

The Czech health system only recorded four cases of measles last year and no case in the first six months of this year, while in 2019, some 590 Czechs contracted the disease, according to the National Institute of Public Health (SZÚ) data. Experts say the epidemic of the measles vanished, but epidemic measures against Covid also largely influenced the low incidence, the president of the Vaccinology Society, Roman Chlíbek, told journalists. However, after the measures are canceled, the measles will return, he said. In 2018 and in the first six months of 2019, an epidemic of measles came to a head both in Europe and the Czech Republic. Due to this, the Czech Republic lost its status of a country in which measles were eradicated. Read our full story here.

Slovakia kicks off Covid vaccination lottery

A lottery as an incentive to be Covid vaccinated, approved by parliament in early July, started in Slovakia on Sunday. The first lots will be drawn on Aug. 15. The highest prize is EUR 100,000. Winners will be selected each week until the end of October. The government is to spend some EUR 10 million on the prizes. Experts and economists are rather sceptical of whether the lottery will really make more Slovaks inoculated. According to the data portal Our World in Data, 2 million people in Slovakia have complete vaccination. They account for 36 percent of Slovakia's population. In the neighbouring the Czech Republic, this is 45 percent.

Lowest number of new Covid cases since June

There were 75 new Covid cases reported for Sunday, the lowest number since the end of June. It was also lower than last Sunday, which had 80 cases. The number of people hospitalized dropped to 41, from 45 the previous day, and the number of people in serious condition fell bu one to reach eight. No deaths were reported for the the 11th day in a row. For the month of July there was a total of 12 deaths. The revised figure of Covid-related deaths though has risen to 30,374 due to late reporting of some cases. The index number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days remained at 11.The reproduction number R has crept up to 0.93, but is still under the break even point of 1.0. For Prague, the index number is 21, down from 22 the previous day, and the R number was at 0.73.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Aug. 2, 2021)

  • New cases 75
  • Deaths 30 374
  • Currently hospitalized 41
  • PCR tests performed 9,044,861
  • Antigen tests performed 24,079,187
  • Total vaccinations 10,363,749
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 20,631
  • People who have completed vaccination 4,855,237
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 11
  • PES index 23
  • R number 0.93
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