Coronavirus update, July 19, 2021: Prague's Kotva nightclub linked to new Covid outbreak

Plus: R number drops back under 1.0 for first time since June, people can now change date for second dose, police checked clubs for Covid rule violations. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 19.07.2021 10:00:00 (updated on 19.07.2021) Reading time: 7 minutes

PM Babiš: Club at Prague's Kotva linked to 34 Covid cases

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš stated that the Delta mutation is spreading in the Czech Republic and pointed out the situation in bars.

"We had a Techtle Mechtle last year. This year we have a club in Kotva, where there is a real problem. Now about 34 young people have become infected there," Babiš said.

The Delta mutation that spreads mainly among the young generation, he added. "This club does not meet the conditions at all. They normally dance there. When the control comes, they ignore it, which is wrong," he added. The club Techtle Mechtle in Prague 2 last year was linked to a large outbreak of Covid due to one infected person interacting closely with several others.

Police find numerous violations of Covid restrictions during weekend checks

Prague police officers, in cooperation with the Prague Hygienic Station, carried out several inspections of music and dance clubs in the city center on Friday night aimed at complying with current epidemiological measures. About a dozen inspections took place, including inspections of four large establishments. They found violations of the ban on dancing and grouping of guests, improper spacing of tables, lack of disinfectants and notices, and overcrowding. Almost 500 people were checked during the night. More than 40 people were dealt with by police officers on the spot, mostly for failure to prove the so-called negativity when entering the establishment. The total amount of fines exceeded CZK 20,000. Five offenses were resolved by hygiene workers by notification to administrative proceedings. In two other cases, the police resolved the offense in the area of the Aliens Act also in the order proceedings.

Third walk-in vaccination center opens in Prague-Smíchov today

A third walk-in Covid-19 vaccination center that allows people to be vaccinated without prior registration will open today in Prague in the Nový Smíchov shopping center in Prague 5. It will operate daily from 9 am to 8 pm, and is operated by the Motol University Hospital. The Moderna vaccine will be offered. Two similar places have been operating since last week in the Westfield Chodov shopping center and at the main railway station Hlavní nádraží. This Wednesday centers will also open in the Karolina mall in Ostrava and Olympia mall in Brno. The first two places for unregistered applicants opened in the capital a week ago.

Over 6,000 used walk-in vaccination centers

In his weekend video on social networks, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš stated that 4,058 people were vaccinated in the shopping center in Chodov from Monday to Friday, and 2,309 people were vaccinated at the main railway station.  

"I was there and I asked people if they were going on the train. Nobody went on the train. Everyone went for the vaccine," Babiš said on Sunday. 

People can change date for second dose

People will find new information on the website on how to postpone the date of the second dose of the vaccine or check the transfers, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Sunday.

"Also next week, information about all available dates for the second doses will be added to the website. The citizen will choose the date in advance and will be able to say directly on line 1221 which date he is interested in," Babiš said.

Some 33 percent of people in the Chodov vaccination center said in the survey that they were vaccinated to protect their health. For 26 percent, the reason was the possibility of traveling, and 20 percent said they wanted freedom and end with having ot be tested, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Sunday. He added that almost 80,000 children are registered for covid vaccination. "Vaccination of children is a priority for us," the prime minister said.

Letters being sent to unvaccinated people

Letters also have to attract vaccination. Last week, insurance companies sent a call for vaccinations to more than half a million people over the age of 60, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said. This week, they plan to send a letter to the remaining unvaccinated policyholders over the age of 18. Vaccination has been carried out in the Czech Republic since the end of last December. According to Babiš, the number of doses administered in July will exceed 10 million, and more than 4.2 million people are fully vaccinated in the country.  

Experts disagree on how close we are to mass immunity

The Czech Republic has collective Covid immunity within its reach, as the number of the jabbed has risen and many people had the disease, biochemist Zdeněk Hostomský said, adding that the government plan to stop covering people's preventive testing from public health insurance is a rational decision. His partner in the debate on CNN Prima News TV, immunologist Václav Hořejší, too, said he does not consider the discontinuation of free Covid testing a violation of people's fundamental rights. Hořejší said some 1.7 million people in the 10.7-million Czech Republic have had Covid-19 so far, while over four million people have got fully vaccinated. This would be still too low a number to think about collective immunity, but it can be supposed that far more people have faced the coronavirus than the official data say. If so, no dramatic increase in the number of infections might come any more, he said, stressing that he considers vaccination the most reliable way to attain collective immunity. The hard core of vaccination opponents is small, he said

Czech Republic is the fifth-most Covid affected country

The Czech Republic is the fifth-most affected country in the world according to the relative number of infected., according to server. In the Czech Republic, 1,671,027 people have been infected so far, which is over 156,000 per million inhabitants. Of the world, only Andorra (over 184,727), the Seychelles (more than 175,000), Montenegro (over 160,000). and Bahrain (over 157,000) are worse off. In the Czech Republic more than 30,338 people have already died of Covid, making it the fourth largest in the world after Peru (5,916), Hungary (3,107), and Bosnia (2,946), according to the relative number of deaths, with 2833 deaths per million inhabitants.

Czech Republic to give face masks and respirators to Tunisia

The Czech Republic will donate 256,000 face masks and 50,490 FFP2 respirators from its material reserves to Tunisia, which is facing a growing number of coronavirus infections, based on a document the cabinet is to discuss soon. Tunisia has asked the European Union for help. The Czech gift is worth 5.7 million crowns. The road transport of the face masks and respirators will be organized by the Czech Foreign Ministry. Tunisia's healthcare system has collapsed of late, with intensive care units overcrowded and doctors burdened with work overload. Tunisia coped with the first pandemic wave last year, but now it is one of the African countries with the highest coronavirus death toll, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The Czech Foreign Ministry has recommended that Czechs do not travel to Tunisia, which figures among the states with the extreme risk of Covid-19 infection. 

New app allows people to see who has been vaccinated

A new service called Mobilni rozhlas, enables Czechs to find out how many people in their town have been vaccinated against Covid. The service is run by the firm Mama-AI and is updated daily with data from on the Health Information and Statistics Institute (ÚZIS). In the spring, Mobilni rozhlas started to release information about the development of the epidemic in individual towns. People's interest in it has been huge, they sought about 250,000 statistical data a month.

"By releasing the vaccination rate data, we are now providing an important instrument to town councils," said Ondřej Švrček, from the Mobilni rozhlas platform.

Through the free Mobilni rozhlas service, people can learn what share of their town's inhabitants have the first Covid jab at least and how many have their vaccination completed. In addition, the service continues releasing the number of new cases in individual towns, the number of new infections in the risk group of people over 65, and the local incidence rate.

R number drops back under 1.0

There were another 116 Covid cases in the Czech Republic on Sunday, 31 fewer than a week ago, according to Health Ministry data. The reproduction number R, which stands for the average number of those infected by one person with Covid, has diminished to 0.96 from 1.11 one day before. The last time it was under 1 was in late June. A figure under 1.0 means the pandemic is receding. The number of coronavirus hospitalized has remained almost the same. On Sunday, there were 28 such patients, six of whom in a serious condition. For the past seven days, there were about 15 infected per 100,000 population, the same as in the previous four days. The situation is still the worst in Prague, where tests uncovered 42 new cases of the infection per 100,000 population over seven days. The death toll now stands at 30,338. Only six people have died so far in July.

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

  • New cases 116
  • Deaths 30,338
  • Currently hospitalized 28
  • PCR tests performed 8,558,929
  • Antigen tests performed 23,041,900
  • Total vaccinations 9,518.521
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 32,201
  • People who have completed vaccination 4,236,072
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 15
  • PES index 37
  • R number 0.96
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