Coronavirus update, Feb. 15, 2021: trial COVID testing at Czech schools starts this week

Following the renewed state of emergency, the PES index remains at the highest level and the Czech Republic is negotiating independently with AstraZeneca.

Expats.cz

Written by Expats.cz
Published on 15.02.2021 09:39 (updated on 15.02.2021)

Cabinet declares another state of emergency

The government declared a state of emergency effective across the Czech Republic for 14 days to combat the COVID epidemic at the request of regional governors on Sunday. The Czech government renewed the regular opening hours at government offices. Libraries will also partly reopen for take-away operation. The lockdown relating to leisure and culture will be still in force and the curfew between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. will not change. See our full story here.

Prague City Hall and most districts will extend office hours from Feb. 17. The office hours at the register of drivers and the register of vehicles of the Department of Traffic will be extended from Feb. 15

Trial COVID testing of Czech pupils scheduled for Thursday

The trial testing of schoolchildren for COVID-19 will begin in the Czech Republic, most likely in Sedlčany, Central Bohemia, on Thursday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said this morning, prior to his trip to Austria which was canceled due to weather. Vienna and Lower Austria started testing children at schools a week ago. The rest of Austria will join the testing today. Babiš said some 470,000 schoolchildren had been tested in Austria so far, about 180 of whom tested positive. The cabinet will get acquainted with the offer of all available coronavirus tests today. The Government Council for Health Risks should discuss the testing of pupils and students on Tuesday. The Health Ministry is tasked with drafting the plan for coronavirus testing at schools as well as the vaccination of teachers and other school staff.

Czech Republic negotiating independently with AstraZeneca

The Czech Republic is negotiating separately for coronavirus vaccines from AstraZeneca beyond the order agreed by the European Union for all EU member states, news server Seznam reported based on the statement of the Ministry of Health.

“The Ministry of Health was approached by representatives of AstraZeneca for the Czech Republic with an offer of other vaccines. We are in contact with AstraZeneca and are discussing further details, especially the number of doses, delivery date, and price,” Health Ministry spokesman Barbora Peterová said.

The Czech Republic together with other EU countries and the European Commission previously agreed not to negotiate privately with manufacturers with whom the European Commission is negotiating. Czech Ambassador to the European Union, Edita Hrdá, told Seznam that it is now being verified whether direct purchase is possible in view of this obligation.

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PES index stays at 77 points, R number drops

The PES epidemic index staid at 77 points for the second day in a row, corresponding to the highest alert level. The R number slightly dropped to 1.03 and the average number of the infected in the past 14 days keeps rising in the Czech Republic the Health Ministry's data show this morning. The number of the coronavirus infected per 100,000 population in the past 14 days is currently 966. Two out of the four PES parameters, the number of the infected among the elderly in the past 14 days and the share of the people whose infection has been proven in hospital only have been stagnating.

Latest COVID-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Feb. 15, 2021)

  • Active cases 103,456
  • New cases 9,446
  • Deaths 18,250
  • Currently hospitalized 5,553
  • PCR tests performed 4,944,403
  • Antigen tests performed 2,044,626
  • Reported vaccinations 450,780