Coronavirus update, Feb. 4, 2021: Czech Republic leads EU in cases per 100,000 people

The number of coronavirus-infected per 100,000 has grown in the past 14 days for the first time since mid-January.

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas
Published on 04.02.2021 09:37 (updated on 04.02.2021)

The PES index score is on the rise in the Czech Republic. Over the past 14 days, the number of coronavirus-infected per 100,000 has grown for the first time since mid-January.

Following a Wednesday meeting of the Czech Republic's central crisis staff, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček deemed the epidemic "stagnant" and admitted that the Czech health care system was nearly at capacity.

"Community spread continues and high numbers of infections mean a high risk of infection," said Jan Hamáček. The Czech Police Air Service will now assist with the helicopter transport of patients with COVID from overloaded hospitals.

Hamáček's statement comes after the Czech Republic surpassed 1 million cases earlier this week. Other EU countries that have crossed the million mark: France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Poland. The Czech Republic leads EU countries in the number of infected per 100,000 inhabitants and is fifth in the EU in deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.

Hamáček stated there are 35 cases of British coronavirus infection in the Czech Republic. He said that further growth of the mutation can be expected. "The virus is here, given its characteristics, we expect it to grow in strength."

The PES epidemic index rose from 70 to 71 points Thursday with the reproduction number (the number of people infected by one positive person) returning to 1 in the Czech Republic. Its rise from 0.99 on Tuesday to 1.03 on Wednesday would increase the PES score grow by three points, but statisticians subtract points for a week-to-week drop in the share of patients whose infection was proven in the hospital only. 

The PES risk-assessment score of 71 points has corresponded to the fourth alert degree since mid-January, but the valid anti-coronavirus measures still correspond to the strictest, fifth-degree.

The number of people with the confirmed coronavirus infection per 100,000 population in the past 14 days grew on Wednesday to 896 from 883 on Tuesday. This parameter has increased for the first time since Jan. 16 but did not affect the overall PES score. The fourth and the last PES criterion, the number of the infected elderly per 100,000 population in the past 14 days, slightly decreased.

The Czech Republic has ordered vaccines against coronavirus for 11 million people; the Pfizer/BioNTech firm will deliver doses for up to six million people, three times more than originally planned, vaccination coordinator Katerina Bathova told members of the lower house health committee Wednesday.

Health Minister Jan Blatný said vaccination centers may inoculate up to 60,000 vaccine doses per day and general practitioners up to 50,000 doses per day in their offices provided that there are sufficient vaccines in the country, which is likely to happen in April or May.

Blatný said the vaccination of people age from 65 to 80 should be launched when 70 percent of the first priority group gets vaccinated. This priority group includes people aged over 80, health workers and clients and staff of retirement homes and other social care homes.

The second priority group is people aged over 65, patients with serious illness, and workers in essential professions.

In the past few days, the coronavirus infection has spread fastest in the Trutnov district, east Bohemia, as well as the Cheb and Sokolov districts, west Bohemia, where more than 1,000 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants were reported in the past seven days.

Latest COVID-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Feb. 4, 2021)

  • Active cases 94,519
  • New cases 9,567
  • Deaths 16,826
  • Currently hospitalized 5,811
  • PCR tests performed 4,687,527
  • Antigen tests performed 1,697,559
  • Reported vaccinations 310,340
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