Coronavirus update, March 2, 2021: Czech Republic hits record high in serious cases and hospitalized

The govt. will meet today to discuss mandatory home office, Slovenia and Austria offer help, and testing in companies begins Wednesday.

Expats.cz

Written by Expats.cz
Published on 02.03.2021 09:59 (updated on 02.03.2021)

200,000 people over 70 registered for vaccination

On the first day of eligibility, 200,000 seniors over the age of 70 registered for vaccination against COVID-19. Approximately 13,500 of them have a vaccination date. The registration system for people over the age of 70 was launched at 12:30 a.m. on March 1 and, according to Monday's statement by the government's IT commissioner, it did not experience any problems. In mid-January, when the registration system for people over the age of 80 was launched, the PIN code for registration was waited for tens of minutes due to congestion. On Monday, people received the message immediately according to the agent.

Government will discuss mandatory home office

The government at its meeting tonight should discuss an increase in nursing allowance from the current 70 percent of earnings to 100 percent, remuneration for all employees in social services, and compulsory work from home for the entire national economy. On Friday, the government began discussions on the use of home office. For example, in administrative operations, there should be only persons absolutely necessary to protect property and basic functions.

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Testing at firms starts Wednesday

The cabinet decided that companies with more than 250 employees have to start testing employees as of Wednesday and complete the testing of all of them by March 12. Companies with 50 to 249 employees have to launch mandatory testing on Friday and test all the staff by March 15.

Companies might use COVID tests originally purchased for schools by the Interior Ministry, as the schools are currently closed, Deputy PM and Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said. The first school supply of more than 1 million antigen tests arrived in the Czech Republic on Saturday. By mid-March, the Tardigrad International Consulting firm is to provide 3.6 million tests in total.

O2 universum vaccination center to open April 11

A high-capacity COVID-19 vaccination center in the O2 universum in Prague will start working on April 11 after its trial operation two days earlier, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) said on social media after a meeting with regional hospital directors. The new center will vaccinate up to 10,000 people a day. Babiš added that the COVID vaccination centers should operate every day, even during weekends. Prague City Hall plans to open a high-capacity vaccination center in the Congress Center Prague (KCP). Teaching hospitals in Brno and Ostrava have their own high-capacity vaccination and will be raising capacities, Babiš tweeted.  

Czech vaccine development to resume

The government approved the Health Ministry's report on resuming development of a Czech vaccine, stopped last year over availability of commercial vaccines, the government press department has told journalists. The government hopes the domestic vaccine may be effective against new coronavirus mutations that are spreading faster and can weaken the effect of the vaccines used now. Last December, Health Minister Jan Blatný said there was no need to continue with the development as there would be soon at disposal a commercial vaccine.

Govt. proposes increase in sick benefit

The Czech cabinet approved an increase in sick benefit from 60 to 100 percent of the ill employees' wage in March and April as a measure to help curb the coronavirus infection, Labor and Social Affairs Minister Jana Maláčová has tweeted. The lower house of parliament will debate the bill on Tuesday and the upper house on Wednesday, Maláčová wrote. The measure aims to motivate people to stay at home if having symptoms of COVID-19 or quarantine themselves after meeting an infected person.  

Company canteens restricted

Consumption of meals in company canteens will be banned as of Tuesday, the cabinet decided, along with ordering the launch of mandatory testing of company staff for COVID-19 by their employers, Finance Minister Alena Schillerová has told media. The canteens can only offer take-away meals. Employees can also take meals to work from their home, but can no longer eat it in canteens to prevent gatherings of people, Schillerová said.

Slovenia, Austria offer help to Czech COVID patients

Slovenia and Austria offered help to Czech patients with serious case of COVID at the meeting of Central European foreign ministers, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček has told journalists."At the meeting of C5 foreign ministers, I received the offers of help for patients with a serious course of coronavirus from Slovenia and Austria. I will pass them to the health minister," Petricek has tweeted. The foreign ministers of the C5 – the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and Slovenia – also want to insist on an accelerated registration of other vaccines in the EU, Petříček said.

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Serious COVID cases sets another record

The number of serious COVID cases set another new record high with 1,568 on Monday and the number of the hospitalized was 7,717, the highest figure since last November, according to the data the Czech Health Ministry released this morning. The PES epidemic system remains at 79 points for the third day.

Latest COVID-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (March 2, 2021)

  • Active cases 148,924
  • New cases 12,150
  • Deaths 20,701
  • Currently hospitalized 7,717
  • PCR tests performed 5,405,832
  • Antigen tests performed 2,770,965
  • Reported vaccinations 674,040

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