Coronavirus update, June 30, 2021: Prague Covid situation is worsening, R number on the rise

More contagious delta variant is on the rise, the Health Ministry now wants people with one vaccine dose may need to show negative test.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 30.06.2021 09:38 (updated on 30.06.2021)

Czech PM says Prague situation is not good

The coronavirus epidemic has not ended in the Czech Republic yet, and its development in Prague seems rather unfortunate, and so it is necessary to continue with the vaccination and with the measures against the infection, especially against its variants from abroad, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said.

"Covid has not ended. By the way, the figures in Prague don’t look good at all. We must keep struggling, we must vaccinate and protect ourselves against other countries where variants occurred," he added.

Babiš said the cabinet will hold a special meeting because of this. Prague continues to have the highest incidence rate per population, 21 per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days, while other Czech regions report numbers lower than 10. The latest data of the Health Ministry show that the daily Covid incidence stopped decreasing. Nationwide, the reproduction number R, showing how many people each infected person spreads the virus to, is now over 1.0 meaning the pandemic is spreading.

Delta variant is frequent in Czech Republic

Laboratories have confirmed 120 cases of the coronavirus delta variant, previously denoted as Indian, in the Czech Republic, according to a report from the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for Flu and Respiration Viral Diseases of the State Health Institute (SZÚ) released. The cases have occurred in Prague and the Liberec, Ústí, Moravia-Silesia, Hradec Králové and Vysočina regions. Besides, the first case of the lambda variant, now dominant in Peru, has also appeared, the report said. When it comes to other variants, 65 cases of the beta, or South African variant, have been recorded in several separate clusters and 21 cases of the gamma variant, previously called Brazilian, in Prague, Brno, Mělník, Hradec Králové, and Pardubice regions. In the Central Bohemia Region, the lambda variant has been seen, probably originating from Germany. The British variant is still dominant in the Czech Republic.

"At present, the positivity incidence is low. This is why it may happen that the sequencing centers will have to cooperate when collecting the samples. There will be a lower number of the sequenced samples in absolute figures, while their percentage will increase," Helena Jiřincová added.

People with one vaccine dose may need to show negative test

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said due to the spread of the delta mutation, he would propose that people inoculated with only one vaccine dose should have to present a negative test in order to prove that they are not infected. People coming back from holiday will have to present it at work, too. On Thursday late afternoon, there will be an urgent government meeting to deal with this. The change is likely to take effect next week, Vojtěch said. This would probably refer to holidays within the Czech Republic, too. Experts said that a careful examination of the incidence of the new variants and preferential tracing of the infected persons may prevent the onset of another wave of the epidemic. Vojtěch said that the Delta variant was more infectious than the previous variants of the virus. Its reproduction number is eight, which means that on average another eight persons are infected from one positively tested person.

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Health Ministry bans Czechs from traveling to Russia, Tunisia

The Health Ministry has banned all people in the Czech Republic from traveling to Russia as of Thursday and to Tunisia as of next week due to the spread of more dangerous Covid mutations, according to ministry protective measure released today. Tunisia is one of the Czechs' most popular summer holiday destination, according to travel agencies. The protective measure bans all citizens of the Czech Republic and foreigners with residence in its territory from traveling to the countries with an extremely high risk of Covid-19 infection. The Health Ministry writes in its justification that the ban should prevent further cases of new coronavirus mutations from being brought to the Czech Republic and spread in the country. According to the ministry data, Russia has registered a considerable rise in the number of the Covid infected mainly because of the spread of the more infectious Delta variant. In Tunisia, the coronavirus incidence has been rising continuously since May and in the past weeks, the share of those tested positive has been over 30 percent.

Sports fans asked not to travel to Baku

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Health Ministry asks Czech fans reconsider whether they need to make a trip to Saturday's quarterfinals of the European Football Championship (Euro 2020) between the Czech Republic and Denmark in Baku due to Covid-19. Minister Adam Vojtěch recommended watching the match on television with regard to the epidemic risks. Azerbaijan is in the dark red category of countries with a very high risk. This means the need to test and spend time in self-isolation in order to return to the Czech Republic.

Poll: Less than half of Czechs fear Covid

Only 49 percent of Czechs fear the Covid-19 infection now, which has been the lowest share since the epidemic outbreak last March when 80 percent of them feared it, according to a poll conducted by the Ipsos agency in June. Nevertheless, people are awaiting the autumn with fears. If the epidemic situation worsened after the summer holiday, about two-thirds of them fear that the common health care would not be available, services and shops would be closed again and the number of the coronavirus infected would rise. Young people aged 18 to 29 and students feel the least threatened with Covid-19. The people who feel threatened are also more skeptical about the virus being under control soon, the poll shows. Most people or 80 percent are still of the view that Covid-19 would not get under control sooner than in a few months.  

R number rises over 1.0 for first time since mid-April

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 There were 160 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, and increase of almost 50 percent over last week when there were 112. On Tuesday, Prague has 54 new Covid cases against 30 from last Tuesday. The number of confirmed cases per 100,000 over the past seven days remained at seven, but for Prague the number rose to 21, according to Health Ministry data. Nationwide, the reproduction number R rose to 1.11, meaning that the pandemic is once again spreading. It had been below 1.0 since mid-April. There are 57 patients with Covid in the hospitals. 105,910 doses of vaccine were administered. No deaths were reported for the third day in a row, but the death toll was revised upward to 30,303.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (June 30, 2021)

  • New cases 160
  • Deaths 30 303
  • Currently hospitalized 57
  • PCR tests performed 8,006,065
  • Antigen tests performed 21,230,826
  • Total vaccinations 8,119,241
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 105,910
  • People who have completed vaccination 3,185,224
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 7
  • PES index 41
  • R number 1.11
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