Coronavirus update, Aug. 30, 2021: Czech Republic to start third Covid jabs in mid-September

Pus: Shops and services won't close again, UN calls for schools to stay open, fewest vaccinations since the end of February.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 30.08.2021 09:52:00 (updated on 30.08.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Covid vaccination with third dose starts in mid-September

The re-vaccination against Covid-19 of the people facing a higher risk if infected, such as the elderly over 65, should start in the Czech Republic in the second half of September, while PM Andrej Babiš mentioned September 20 as the start date in his regular comments on social media on Sunday. Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said in a debate on Prima TV that people can get the third dose eight months after the completed vaccination. Experts consider the elderly over 65, clients of senior homes, patients with chronic diseases as well as health and social service personnel as risk groups that should be given the third dose. "The mRNA vaccines will be used for re-vaccination," Vojtěch said, adding that these types of vaccines are from the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech firms. People inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is of another type, and those who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will receive mRNA vaccines as their third dose.

Shops and services won't close if Covid epidemic worsens

The Czech government does not plan to close shops and services even if the worst scenario of the Covid epidemic development comes true in the autumn, but some anti-epidemic measures would be valid and mass events may be restricted, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said in a debate on Prima TV. However, Vojtěch said he did not expect the situation to become serious. He added that this would be apparent after the results of the blanket Covid testing of children at schools in early September. Vojtěch said the scenarios of further epidemic development were being drafted based on the vaccination rate development. According to the most pessimistic scenario of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS), about 500 people with coronavirus may be hospitalized in the second half of September and almost 100 would need intensive care. The epidemic is expected to rise, but will not burden hospitals too much. See our full story here.

Mask obligation likely to last until October

People will have to wear some nose and mouth protection and prove their non-infectiousness for some time to come as basic anti-epidemic measures, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said. Asked how long respirators will be mandatory, Vojtěch estimated until October at least. The situation will be assessed then, he said. Currently, people must wear respirators or nano face masks in public transport means, shops, and interiors of all public buildings. Opposition MP Vlastimil Válek (TOP 09), a physician by profession, said in a TV debate that the government should make decision about this duty in mid-September. In his opinion, wearing face masks makes sense in public transport means, but otherwise this measure should be more relaxed, he added.

UN: Schools should remain open, but take care to prevent Covid

All schools should remain open and take measures to minimize the risk of Covid-19, the European branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund for Europe and Central Asia said in a joint statement. They warn against the highly contagious Delta variant and call for the protection of the physical and mental health of children.

"The pandemic has caused the most catastrophic disruption to education in history. It is therefore vital that classroom-based learning continues uninterrupted across the WHO European Region. This is of paramount importance for children’s education, mental health and social skills, for schools to help equip our children to be happy and productive members of society," WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge said.

The WHO has recommended that teachers and other school staff be included among the key workers with a priority right to vaccination against Covid-19. According to a report published by both organizations, schools should be among the last places to close and the first to reopen.

Germany goes red on latest Czech Covid-19 travel map

Coming to the Czech Republic from Germany will become more difficult for unvaccinated travelers as of today, when Germany goes from medium-risk orange to high-risk red on the latest Czech Covid-19 travel map. Travelers arriving from red countries must take a Covid-19 test between 5-14 days after arrival, and quarantine until the result is known; those who have been vaccinated as well as those who have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months are exempt from this requirement. The Czech Health Ministry updates its travel map each week, with changes based on data released by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. See our full story here.

Fewest vaccinations since the end of February

There were 81 new Covid cases reported for Sunday, down from 105 a week earlier. The number of hospitalized people was at 49, down by one from a day earlier. The number of people in serious condition remained the same at nine. No deaths were reported for Aug. 29, but there was one on both Aug. 28 and 27. The toll for August is at 23. There were only 7,457 vaccinations given out on Sunday, the lowest number since the end of February. Some 5,941 of those shots were second doses or the single-shot vaccine. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days was at 12, down one from a day earlier. The reproduction number R was at 1.05, above the break-even point of 1.0 for the fifth day in a row. For Prague, the incidence number was 28, down from 29 a day earlier. The R number was 0.98, falling back under the break-even point for the first time since Aug. 24.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Aug. 30, 2021)

  • New cases 81
  • Deaths 30 402
  • Currently hospitalized 48
  • PCR tests performed 9,963,170
  • Antigen tests performed 25,870,965
  • Total vaccinations 11,423,278
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 7,457
  • People who have completed vaccination 5,690,606
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 12
  • PES index 33
  • R number 1.05

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