Coronavirus update, July 13, 2021: PCR tests confirm that the Delta variant is on the rise in Czech Republic

Interval between doses shortened to 21 days, organizers must register large events with health centers, three summer camps in the Plzeň region closed. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 13.07.2021 09:51:00 (updated on 13.07.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

PCR Covid tests show Delta variant is on rise

The share of the Delta coronavirus mutation is on the rise in the Czech Republic as shown by discrimination PCR tests, the State Health Institute (SZÚ) said in its press release. The Delta mutation is being detected more often, even though a clear increasing trend cannot be observed yet due to uneven sequencing, the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for Flu and Respiration Viral Diseases wrote. According to the data available to the NRL, the Delta variant is present in 90 percent of samples taken in Prague and Liberec Regions. Altogether, 70 percent of the PCR-analysed samples contain the Delta variant, while the Alpha (aka British) variant makes up 30 percent. From July, all laboratories in the Czech Republic have to use discrimination tests.

Interval between vaccinations shortened to 21 days

People who have registered for vaccination and have not yet booked the slot will have the interval of 21 days instead of the current 34 between the first and second dose of the vaccine as of July 15, Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtěch told journalists. In the afternoon, the government confirmed the decision. As a result, the interval between the doses of the vaccination will be shortened for children aged 12–15 who do not yet have the vaccination slot. Adult people with a booked slot of the vaccination or the first administered dose cannot change the time. The change only relates to the vaccination by the most frequently vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech, but in the case of Moderna and AstraZeneca, the interval remains at 25-35 and 90 days, respectively. The vaccine from Johnson & Johnson only needs a single dose.

Organizers must register large events with health centers

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said organizers of all the planned public events with over 1,000 participants would have to announce them to the relevant regional public health center as of July 19. The government made the decision Monday, he added. The new measure is to enhance the monitoring of the observance of the anti-Covid rules, such as proving the lack of infection. For the events to be staged before July 22, the duty is immediate and for the later ones, organizers must announce them five days in advance, Vojtěch said. The change in the rules is primarily due to the spread of the coronavirus among the young. The government is considering imposing further measures, Vojtěch said.

Insurance won’t cover tests after Sept. 1

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said he presumed as of Sept. 1, the public health insurance would no longer cover the preventive coronavirus tests. Currently, health insurance pays for four antigen tests and two PCR tests a month. The Government Council for Health Risks agreed with the decision, Vojtěch said.

"We think that there is the time when we will be in the situation in which those who can be vaccinated will have done so," he added.

Since late June, the sampling points have been recording an increased interest in Covid tests, due to which some of them have increased their capacity. The interest is caused by the departure for summer holidays and children's camps where the testing is mandatory.

Chodov walk-in center will take self-payers

Two centers for Covid vaccination of applicants without a previous registration opened in Prague's Chodov shopping mall and the main train station Hlavní nádraží on Monday morning, with almost 100 people waiting for a jab in Chodov before the opening. The center at Chodov serves people over 16 and will take self-payers. It is giving out the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The Chodov center is open every day, from 10 am to 8 pm on work days and from 10 am to 7 pm at weekends daily from 12:00 to 19:00. Hlavní nádraží serves people over 18 and does not accept self-payers. It uses the single-dose Janssen vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. It is open daily from noon to 7 pm. Similar centers will be further opened elsewhere in Prague and also in Brno, PM Andrej Babiš said. If you have your first dose at Chodov, you do not have to get the second one there, but you can. If someone who already had a first dose elsewhere turned up for a second dose, the Chodov center would not reject them, but this is not what is preferred, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said.

"Our goal is to address the passers-by, who, for example, would come shopping and decide to have themselves jabbed," Vojtech said.

The new centers will launch pilot lottery projects aimed to attract the young generation. Prizes include an iPhone 12 once a week and Converse sneakers and Steam gaming vouchers daily.

Some people vaccinated outside the EU can get EU certificates

People who have been vaccinated in a country outside the European Union can obtain a European vaccination certificate as of July 19, but they must have had a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency –Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson. Czech citizens and EU citizens with permanent or temporary residence in the Czech Republic will be able to apply for a certificate.

"We want to provide Czech citizens vaccinated in third countries with one of the four vaccines, which is also available in the EU, the same benefits that vaccination brings them in the country," Minister of Health Minister Adam Vojtěch told news server

To get the EU certificate, people must have a vaccination certificate in English from an authorized institution. More information will be on the Health Ministry website. If the certificate is not verifiable, then other documents that can be verified must be submitted.  

Three summer camps in the Plzeň region closed

Due to the spread of Covid, three summer camps in the Plzeň region have been closed in one week and more are likely to be added. The disease is spread mainly among young people. The Regional Hygiene Station in Plzeň did not specify which camps are involved or the number of confirmed cases. The disease is again spreading more significantly in the Plzeň region, with 50 to 60 percent of new infections being young people aged 15 to 25. While Prague is still worst in the country for the number of new cases per 100,000 over seven days, now at 38, The Plzeň region is not far behind at 33. However, the Plzeň-sever district has 43.4 cases per 100,000, and the Plzeň-město and Plzeň-jih districts have over 42 infected people.

Another 239 coronavirus cases in Czech Republic on Monday

Another 239 coronavirus cases were confirmed on Monday, fewer than on working days last week bu more than on last monday, which was a holiday. The reproduction number fell to 1.37 after rising for five days, according to Health Ministry data. The number of the hospitalized slightly rose to 31, with two in serious condition. The virus is mostly spreading in Prague, and the Plzeň and the Central Bohemia regions. Authorities say this is largely taking place among young, unvaccinated people. The incidence rate of infected people per 100,000 over seven days has been growing in the past days, having increased to 13.7 by Monday from 12.6 on Sunday. This happened in most regions.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (July 13, 2021)

  • New cases 239
  • Deaths 30,333
  • Currently hospitalized 31
  • PCR tests performed 8,367,746
  • Antigen tests performed 22,607,143
  • Total vaccinations 9,062,043
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 91,159
  • People who have completed vaccination 3,898,980
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 14
  • PES index 49
  • R number 1.37
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