Coronavirus update, July 22, 2021: Deputy PM sees improvement, but ‘we have not won yet’

Babiš says Czech Republic now has enough vaccine, hospital in Žižkov to offer walk-in vaccination, Vojtěch calls for mobile vaccination teams.

Expats.cz

Written by Expats.cz
Published on 22.07.2021 09:50 (updated on 22.07.2021)

Hamáček: ‘We have not won yet’

Experts consider the current anti-epidemic measures in the Czech Republic, sufficient and the Central Crisis Staff (ÚKŠ) will work at least during the pandemic state, ÚKŠ head and Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček told reporters today after a ÚKŠ meeting. Nevertheless, Hamáček stressed that a cautious attitude is needed due to the epidemic development abroad. While the ÚKŠ held weekly meeting during the state of emergency, it currently meets once a month. At a press conference after yesterday's meeting, Hamáček said the current situation is considerably better than a short time ago.

"However, we have not won yet, either as the Czech Republic or the world," he said.

The epidemic development in Britain, France and other countries proves that the coronavirus has not disappeared anywhere, he said. He added that according to the Health Ministry, the epidemic has been stagnating, even though the situation in the Prague, Plzeň and Central Bohemia regions is worse than in the rest of the country. Hamáček said the ÚKŠ discussed whether the current anti-Covid steps are adequate and sufficient and if they should be modified with respect to the Delta variant. Experts say that at this stage, the current measures are sufficient, he noted, which is also due to the fact that the Czech Republic has not relaxed the valid anti-epidemic restrictions to such a high extent as some other states, he said.

Babiš: Czech Republic now has enough vaccine

PM Andrej Babiš said at the opening of a walk-in vaccination center in Brno that the 10 millionth anti-Covid vaccine dose should by applied in the Czech Republic on Sunday. The Czech Republic has enough vaccines now and the government will discuss their sale, while part of the doses will be donated to other countries and those loaned from Hungary will be returned, he added.

Hospital in Žižkov to offer walk-in vaccination

The St Cross Hospital (Nemocnice sv. Kříže) in Žižkov in the Prague 3 district will start offering the vaccination of unregistered in the last week of July, their representatives have told CTK. In the Žižkov hospital, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will be used. Those who were already jabbed with Moderna but their doctor lacks vaccines to give them the second jab, can turn up to receive it at the Žižkov clinic, its representatives said. The Žižkov clinic will offer the vaccination on work days in the next two weeks, except for Thursday, July 29 and Wednesday, Aug. 4. In Prague, three vaccination points have been so far offered in Prague's Chodov shopping mall and the main train station Hlavní nádraží, which were the first to open in the country on July 12, later joined by a new point in the Nový Smíchov shopping mall.

Vojtěch calls for mobile vaccination teams

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The government wants mobile teams to get involved in the vaccination campaign. "They should drive to small villages and border areas where the vaccination rate is lower than elsewhere, according to data. Vaccination is the best protection and will enable return to a normal life," Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said at the opening of a walk-in vaccination center in Brno.

Pilot project aims to improve recovery of Covid patients

A new project arising in cooperation of three Czech universities and a hospital is to improve the rehabilitation of those suffering from consequences of Covid-19 by means of fitness tags collecting data about the patients' movement and quality of sleep. ČVUT experts cooperate on the project along with their counterparts from Brno's Defense University and Olomouc's Palacký University (UP) and the Hradec Králové Teaching Hospital. The data collected by the tags are transferred to servers and available for doctors and physiotherapists. In patients with a severe course of the disease, the consequences of the infection must be tackled in the subacute phase. The patients suffer from shortness of breath, fatigue, depression or insomnia. Systematic rehabilitation has turned out to be an effective method to solve these problems. In the future, the project should also help people with other diseases.

Senate enables voting from quarantine in October election

Voters who will be in quarantine over the coronavirus will be able to take part in the October general election as they may use portable ballot boxes and drive-in voting points under the bill that the Senate, the upper house of Czech parliament, approved without any changes last night. This possibility of voting was also applied during the regional and Senate election last autumn amid the surging COVID-19 epidemic. The Chamber of Deputies passed the legislation in early July. Now President Miloš Zeman is to sign it into law. The legislation will be used if there is still the state of pandemic over COVID as of Sept. 15 or if the state of emergency is declared by the date. The bill, backed by 59 out of the 63 senators present on Wednesday, suggests three alternative votes in quarantine or isolation like last autumn. Along with the drive-in vote and the use of portable ballot boxes, the people in quarantine may be visited by specially equipped election officials. It is also possible to vote in a closed accommodation facility. The next general election to the Chamber of Deputies is set for Oct. 8-9.  

Govt. to decide on Covid testing at schools by mid-August

The Czech government must decide by mid-August whether schools will have to test pupils and students for Covid-19 in the autumn due to the purchases of the necessary tests, Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček told reporters after a meeting of the Central Crisis Staff (ÚKŠ) that he heads. The Education Ministry plans three testing rounds with antigen tests, the quality of which was verified, at schools. The State Material Reserves Administration (SSHR) is purchasing these Covid tests for schools. Besides, the Education Ministry will retroactively pay for the more precise PCR tests if schools decided to use them. The SSHR is buying 4.2 million antigen tests for the three testing rounds at schools. The preventive Covid testing at schools starts on Sept. 1, while the first graders of primary schools will be able to get tested on Sept. 2. Other testing dates for all will be Sept. 6 and 9.

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Batist Medical wins tender for Covid tests for schools

The firm Batist Medical won the tender to deliver 4.2 million coronavirus antigen tests for Czech schoolchildren at the start of the school year, the Administration of State Material Reserves (SSHR) announced. The firm from Červený Kostelec, east Bohemia, put up the most advantageous from the 10 bids the SSHR received. One test will cost about CZK 18.87 without VAT. Batist Medical will deliver the tests from the Chinese company Genrui Biotech in the total value of CZK 80 million. The contract includes the option of buying for the same price another 1.2 million tests that might serve as a reserve for additional testing. The Health Ministry said it was planning the schoolchildren's Covid testing only at the start of September. Further steps will depend on the development of the epidemiological situation.

Doctor accused of spreading Covid disinformation

The Prague police accused doctor Iveta Křížová of scaremongering as she wrote on the Internet and in a letter to some public officials that the Covid vaccination leads to mass deaths for which she faces up to eight years in prison if convicted, news server Novinky.cz server reported. A letter Křížová sent out claims that the Covid vaccination is a crime against humanity and human experiments. The police have started investigating her activities. The doctor has not commented on the affair yet. According to Manipulatori.cz, a server fighting disinformation, Křížová belongs to top 50 biggest fake news disseminators in the Czech Republic.

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Slovak commuters block border crossings in protest

Slovak cross-border commuters blocked selected crossings on the borders with the Czech Republic, Hungary. and Austria for about two hours yesterday afternoon in protest against what they call the disproportionate government epidemic measures. As a result, cars lined up at some crossings, while elsewhere the blockade did not complicate the traffic seriously. The protests on the border with the Czech Republic ended before 7 pm, as did those on the Čunovo–Rajka crossing on the Hungarian border, where a many-kilometer line of vehicles appeared. South Moravian police spokesman Petr Vala said that the protest took place on the Slovak side, which is why the Czech police were only monitoring it.

R number under 1.0 for four days in a row

There were 235 new Covid cases reported for Wednesday, down slightly from 260 a week earlier. The index number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days fell from 15 to 14. The reproduction number R, showing how many people each person infects, rose slightly to 0.97 from 0.96 the previous day. It is has been under the break even point of 1.0 for four days in a row. Some 35 people are hospitalized with Covid, with four in serious condition. One death was recorded for yesterday, bringing the revised total for July to 12. For Prague, where the Covid situation is worst in the country, the index number fell from 41 to 39. The R number fell from 0.98 to 0.96.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (July 22, 2021)

  • New cases 235
  • Deaths 30,347
  • Currently hospitalized 35
  • PCR tests performed 8,667,249
  • Antigen tests performed 23,254,262
  • Total vaccinations 9,779,969
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 80,420
  • People who have completed vaccination 4,434,068
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 14
  • PES index 32
  • R number 0.97
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