Coronavirus update, June 3, 2021: Over 1.5 million people now fully vaccinated in the Czech Republic

Plus: Vaccination opens at midnight for people 16 to 29, court rules closure of schools and kindergartens in April was illegal. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 03.06.2021 09:44:00 (updated on 03.06.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

Over 1.5 million people now fully vaccinated

Over 1.5 million people in the Czech Republic are fully vaccinated against the new coronavirus. The country has a population of 10.65 million. The number of 1.5 million was reached on Tuesday, but the figures were not announced until Wednesday afternoon due to a system upgrade. As of this morning, 1,568,961 vaccinated people have had both doses of one of the three major vaccines or one dose of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Approximately 80 percent have had the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and almost 10 percent each have had either the Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine. Only 43,394 people, or 0.79 percent, have had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Vaccination started at the end of December 2020, but has been slowed by a lack of vaccine.

Half of Czech adults at least partly immune

Over half of adults in the Czech Republic already have at least partial demonstrable immunity to coronavirus, according to the latest information from the long-term research Life during a Pandemic (Život během pandemie). Either they have been vaccinated with at least one dose, or they have suffered from Covid-19 in the last six months. As the epidemic subsides, people-to-people contacts increase and people return to work. At the end of May, only a tenth of the research participants reported that they were fully working from home.

Vaccination opens at midnight for people 16 to 29

People between the ages of 16 and 29 can register for Covid-19 vaccination in the Czech Republic as of midnight tonight. The Czech Republic has about 1.485 million inhabitants in this age group. "I believe that even the youngest people will express high interest [in the vaccination]," Babiš previously tweeted. Registration for that group has been expected to open June 1, but was delayed so more people šé and over could register first. No decision has been made yet on when or whether people under 16 will be allowed to get vaccinated.

Vojtěch: People can ask laboratories for a refund for a PCR test

People who paid for a PCR test on Tuesday at their own request can request a refund from the labs, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said. By demanding payment, the labs violated an extraordinary measure that had been in force since Friday. The government approved on Friday that people are entitled to two PCR tests and four antigen tests covered by public health insurance in June. Some sampling points, mainly operated by private laboratories, did not offer this possibility on the first day. "If preventive testing takes money from people for it, they are violating the extraordinary measure. And then there is the right that people can demand that money back," the minister said. Originally, the price paid to the laboratory by the health insurance company for the test was set at CZK 350 from June, but on Tuesday the minister announced that it would be increased to CZK 614.

Court rules closure of schools and kindergartens in April was illegal

The general closure of kindergartens and a significant restriction on the operation of primary schools on the basis of two measures taken by the Ministry of Health in April was illegal, the Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) ruled. Apart from a state of emergency, the Health Ministry may, according to the pandemic law, restrict higher education institutions, not nursery and primary schools.

"Why the legislature did not include schools other than universities in this law – designed specifically to manage the current pandemic – is not up to the court to argue," the court stated.

The court gradually received several proposals to repeal certain provisions in two similar extraordinary measures of the Health Ministry issued April 12 and 19. The proposals were considered by two different NSS panels. Both handed down judgments declaring the disputed provisions illegal. They could no longer cancel them because their validity had expired.

Czech authorities issue 25 percent more sick notes in 2020

There were 2.391 million cases of incapacity for work reported in the Czech Republic last year, 25 percent more than in 2019 due to the coronavirus epidemic, but overall, the sick notes lasted three days fewer, the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ) said. On average in 2020, 258,000 people were absent from work daily over an illness or an injury, which is 35,000 people more than in 2019. Overall, 2.2 million cases of temporary inability to work were reported, nearly 500,000 more than in 2019. Healthcare and social care employees had 76 percent more sick notes over an illness in 2020 as against 2019, from 32 cases per 100 people in 2019 to 56 per 100. The national average value stands at 47 cases per 100 people. According to the ČSÚ, the coronavirus epidemic is the major factor in the increase of the numbers as the work incapacity comprises both absences over an illness and quarantines during which employees are entitled to sickness benefit.

EU survey: Czechs see EU solidarity positively in a pandemic

Czechs are among the European Union nations that most positively assess the mutual solidarity of member countries during the Covid-19 pandemic. Together with other nations of the region, especially Hungarians and Poles, the inhabitants of the Czech Republic are among the most satisfied with the mutual solidarity shown by the member states in the fight against Covid-19. While 67 percent of Hungarians are satisfied and 60 Czechs are satisfied, for example only 35 Germans and even fewer French people. The strengthening of EU competences in the field of healthcare has support of more than half the population in all member states, while it is the lowest among the Czechs. Across the EU, 74 percent of people fully or rather agree with greater common competencies. The highest is among Portuguese (96 percent), the least in the Czech Republic (56 percent).

New daily vaccination record set

There were 348 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, one-third fewer than a week ago, according toHealth Ministry's data. "A new vaccination record, 109,861 doses a day, was hit yesterday," Prime Minister Andrej Babiš tweeted today, adding that people aged from 16 to 29 can start registering for vaccination as of midnight. The daily number of vaccinations exceeded 100,000 already on May 26–28 and June 1. The coronavirus incidence stands at 25 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past week, compared with 26 on Wednesday. The reproduction number R, which shows the average number of those who catch Covid-19 from an infected person, keeps below 0.8 today, indicating the epidemic's slowdown. The daily death toll has kept below 10 for almost a week. The ministry reports one death of a Covid patient on Wednesday, but the figure may rise after an update.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (June 3, 2021)

  • New cases 348
  • Deaths 30,126
  • Currently hospitalized 432
  • PCR tests performed 7,352,951
  • Antigen tests performed 17,786,468
  • Total vaccinations 5,485,570
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 109,861
  • People who have completed vaccination 1,592,190
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 25
  • PES index 36
  • R number 0.78
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