Coronavirus update, March 3, 2021: fourth highest number of new COVID cases since last March

Testing starts at large companies today, Czech patients may go to Germany this week, and the Czech Republic green lights Regeneron. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 03.03.2021 09:12:00 (updated on 04.03.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Fourth highest number of new COVID cases

The Czech Republic saw 16,642 new COVID cases on Tuesday, which is the fourth highest number since the epidemic outbreak last March. The previous record high is from Jan. 6 when there were roughly 1,000 more new cases. Compared to last Tuesday, there are 800 more new infection cases.

There are 8,162 people with COVID-19 in Czech hospitals, which is another new record, and the number of serious cases is also at a new record high, 1,661, according to the data released by the Health Ministry this morning. The previous record of 8,155 COVID patients was from early November. The number of the serious cases is 100 higher than on Sunday and six more than on Monday. On Tuesday afternoon, the Pardubice region declared it had run out of intensive care beds.

The reproduction number has been on the decline the fourth day in a row and dropped to 1.09, the lowest score in the past 14 days, the Health Ministry reports today. The reproduction number R, the average number of people infected from one positive person, is still above 1,00, which indicates the epidemic is strengthening.

Regeneron's COVID drug can be used

The Czech Health Ministry has permitted the use an unregistered COVID-19 drug from the firm Regeneron. The office has granted an exception for 12,000 doses of the drug that are to be delivered to the Czech Republic between March and May. The drug is for the patients threatened with a serious case of COVID-19. The drug is for the patients who do not yet need hospitalization over COVID-19, in whom the symptoms have not lasted for more than seven days, and the positive coronavirus test was not older than three days.

Testing starts at large companies

Companies with more than 250 employees must start testing them today, and employees are obliged to submit to it. The government recommends antigen testing performed by an external doctor, or by mobile medical teams. In this case, testing is fully covered by health insurance. Self-testing through approved tests is also permitted. In this case, the state contributes CZK 60 per test.

All employees who come to the work site must be tested. It is not binding for people working from home. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the obligation does not yet apply to public institutions. Companies with 50 to 249 employees will have to start testing on Friday. Companies and employees will face financial sanctions in the event of a breach. The company will be able to be repeatedly fined up to CZK 500,000, employees up to CZK 50,000.

Trip confirmation can also be in electronic form

Confirmation of the purpose of the trip between districts can be submitted by people in electronic or printed form during the inspection. Police said it on twitter. However, they prefer the paper form, as it will enable faster and safer inspect without mutual contact. When traveling to work outside the district of residence, proof from an employer must be provided, for other trips, such as to the doctor or to the office, people must submit a form or affidavit stating the place, time, and destination of the trip. On Monday, police officers checked more than 53,000 vehicles across the county across the country, and in 1527 cases prevented people from entering the district.

First patients may go to Germany this week

The Czech Republic has received offers of several hundred beds for its COVID-19 patients from other countries, including Switzerland, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček told Czech Radio. This week, the first Czech patients with coronavirus can be transferred to Germany, he added. Offers from most neighboring countries as well as Slovenia and Switzerland concern several hundred patients in total. Intensive negotiations are taking place with Germany Petříček said. An obstacle is that the complete medical documentation must be translated.

Slovenia has proposed to look after up to 20 patients, and Austria is prepared to care for several dozen. "Today, we have a new offer, from Switzerland that might secure transport and care of 20 Czech patients in its territory," he added.  

Germany sends COVID vaccine to west Bohemia

The Karlovy Vary region in west Bohemia has received 15,000 vaccine doses donated from Germany and the Czech Republic added 1,800 doses from its reserves. It is a gift, and the Czech Republic does not need to return the equivalent amount once it has enough vaccine, the Saxony Health Ministry said. The aid was donated by the federal states of Thuringia in central Germany, and Saxony and Bavaria, which border on the Czech Republic.

"We must help our Czech partners for the heart with three ventricles, Bavaria, Saxony and the Czech Republic, to be able to work. We are offering hospital beds and we want to jointly supply rapid tests as well as vaccinations to Czechs," Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder said at a press conference.

MPs pass COVID quarantine bonus

The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, passed the bonus of up to CZK 370 a day for people sent to quarantine over COVID-19 in a summary procedure. The MPs did not approved the government version proposing sick pay for the COVID quarantined amounting to 100 percent of the average reduced pay instead of the current 60 percent. Now, the Senate, the upper house, is to deal with the bill Under the draft the Chamber approved, the new bonus is to be paid to people quarantined on sick leave for 14 days.

Latest COVID-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (March 3, 2021)

  • Active cases 154,580
  • New cases 16,642
  • Deaths 20,941
  • Currently hospitalized 8,162
  • PCR tests performed 5,442,973
  • Antigen tests performed 2,838,113
  • Reported vaccinations 702,023
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