Coronavirus update, June 10, 2021: Czech multiplexes reopen today with record number of new releases

Plus: Vaccination registration for people with private insurance opens at midnight, MPs refuse to fast track legislation for EU Covid Certificates.

Expats.cz

Written by Expats.cz
Published on 10.06.2021 09:31 (updated on 10.06.2021)

Multiplexes reopening with record number of new films

Multiplexes will open today in the Czech Republic, and there is a record number of distribution premieres of feature films. The cinemas had been closed for eight months since Oct. 12. For the time being, however, it will be possible to fill only half of the seats in the halls. Upon entering the cinema, people should prove themselves by a certificate of vaccination, recent test for coronavirus, including self-tests or affidavits, or certificate of recovery. In cinemas, the applicable measures ordered by the government must be observed. Smaller cinemas opened May 24, but multiplex operators announced at the time they would wait for better conditions. Later they announced they would reopen even if rules were not eased further.

Registration for people with private insurance launching at midnight

Vaccination registration for foreigners with private insurance will be launched at midnight from Thursday to Friday, news server Deník N reported. The registration system will also be in English and foreigners who have long-term residence in the Czech Republic but are not part of the Czech public health insurance system will be able to apply. Foreigners will pay a maximum of CZK 810 for on the spot for one dose. Previous information is that Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be used, and there will be at least one vaccination center in each region and more in Prague. Thomayer University Hospital in Prague previously announced it would be vaccinating people with private insurance as of July 1.

J & J, AstraZeneca vaccines only for people over 60

Czech Health Ministry recommends that the coronavirus vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson be not applied to people aged under 60, based on the stances of the State Drug Control Institute (SÚKL) and the Czech Vaccinology Society. The reason is a very rare cases of severe blood clotting. According to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) estimate, it appears in 0.01 percent of the vaccinated persons, usually of younger age. The Health Ministry said those who received the first dose of AstraZeneca will get the second dose. Johnson & Johnson is a single-dose vaccine. "The rare blood coagulation occurred rather after the first dose. Persons who are only partly vaccinated are not sufficiently protected against coronavirus, and the infection is a risk for them," Czech Vaccinology Society head Roman Chlíbek said. General practitioner offices are equipped mostly with the vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

MPs refuse fast vote on EU Covid certificate

The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, yesterday refused to vote in a fast-track regime in the state of legislative emergency on the government bill introducing the EU Covid Certificate, despite being urged to do so by Health Minister Adam Vojtěch. Most of the opposition called the bill redundant and a part of critics, led by the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD), completely rejected it. The Health Ministry says the anchoring of the certificates' issuance in a law is necessary due to the European directive introducing the Digital Covid Certificate, which is to facilitate the traveling between EU member countries. Vojtěch said that already now, the certificates confirming people's Covid vaccination, negative Covid test, or previous Covid disease have been issued based on the Health Ministry's special measure. He warned that it might be canceled by court.

"I cannot guarantee that the system, as defined now, can operate in the long term without leaning on a law," Vojtěch said.

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The opposition politicians said they dislike, among others, that people would have to provide further personal data to the state.

NSS: Regulation of sports, pools, wellness was unlawful

The state regulation of the operation of sport grounds, swimming pools and wellness centers in the Czech Republic within the restrictions to curb the Covid epidemic was unlawful, as the Health Ministry did not sufficiently justify its measures, the Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) has ruled. The court was assessing the April measures on the basis of complaints filed by several firms running the respective services. The Health Ministry neither properly justified the particular risk level connected with the ordered regulation nor dealt with its necessity, the court concluded.

"The NSS is not preventing the fight with the epidemic, it 'only' requires the fulfillment of the demands ensuing from the pandemic law from the defendant," Judge Jitka Zavřelová said.

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The measures issued under the pandemic law were in force from April 26 to May 3. Then, they were replaced by a new measure with a similar content. This is why the NSS could not decide on the measure abolition, but it only retroactively stated it was unlawful.

Half of Czechs registered for Covid vaccination

About 5.2 million Czech citizens, or about 49 percent of the population, have gotten registered for coronavirus vaccination, including almost 450,000 young people aged from 16 to 29 who can get registered from June 4, according to the latest Health Ministry data. Most people registered to get inoculated in vaccination centers, while about 386,000 want their general practitioner to apply the vaccine. Roughly 40 percent Czechs received at least one dose and one out of six have their vaccination completed. Health Information and Statistics Institute (ÚZIS) director Ladislav Dušek said more than half of the population is at least partly protected against the Covid-19 infection when those who recovered from the disease in last six months are included.

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Finance Ministry won’t reimburse field hospital costs to Bulovka

The Prague-Bulovka Teaching Hospital said the Finance Ministry has refused to reimburse the CZK 90 million that Bulovka paid for the maintenance of a field hospital in Prague-Letňany, which previously served as a reserve in case hospitals were overburdened with Covid infections. The Finance Ministry reacted saying that the costs are a part of a contract between the Bulovka hospital and the private company ABF. That is why Bulovka should address its application for reimbursement to its operator, which is the Health Ministry. The military built the reserve hospital for up to 500 patients in the exhibition halls in Letňany, on the northern outskirts of Prague, last October amid the worsening Covid-19 epidemic. The hospital was never put in operation, also due to a shortage of personnel.

Covid daily death toll under 10 for 14 days

Laboratories in the Czech Republic on Wednesday confirmed 248 cases of coronavirus, about 100 fewer than a week ago, according to Health Ministry data. Daily increments of new cases on weekdays remain the lowest since the end of August. The incidence number also continues to fall, with 19 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the past week. The highest number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days is now in the South Bohemia region with 37 cases and the lowest in the Hradec Králové and Karlovy Vary regions, where it is below five. In March, about 200 people died of Covid-19 a day, and now the number of deaths per day has been below 10 for about 14 days. So far, 30,211 people have died in the Czech Republic with confirmed Covid-19 disease. Across the Czech Republic, 285 patients with Covid were hospitalized on Tuesday, 40 of them in serious condition.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (June 10, 2021)

  • New cases 248
  • Deaths 30,211
  • Currently hospitalized 259
  • PCR tests performed 7,510,489
  • Antigen tests performed 18,825,181
  • Total vaccinations 6,198,532
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 95,398
  • People who have completed vaccination 1,906,525
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 19
  • PES index 29
  • R number 0.83
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