Coronavirus update, May 28, 2021: Czech Republic finally reaches goal of 100,000 vaccinations per day

Plus: Restaurant interiors to open on Monday and large vaccination centers to operate until at least August. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 28.05.2021 09:42:00 (updated on 28.05.2021) Reading time: 6 minutes

PM says over 100,000 COVID vaccinated in one day

The Czech Republic applied the Covid vaccine doses to more than 100,000 people a day both on Wednesday and Thursday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš wrote on Twitter. Previously, he announced that such a score would be reached already after Easter, which did not happen due to the lack of vaccines. The so far daily record high in the administered vaccines was reported on May 20 when 98,779 people were inoculated, Health Ministry data shows.

"We exceeded 100,000 inoculated (per day). Twice in a row. We applied 100,269 on Thursday and 100,985 on Wednesday, Thank you all! Paramedics, soldiers, regions and especially Col. Petr Šnajdárek and Kateřina Baťhová from @ZdravkoOnline and their teams. In short, to everyone involved. And let's move on!," Babiš announced.

The official Health Ministry's data for Wednesday report some 97,000 inoculated people so far, but that was a preliminary number. After Babiš tweeted, the ministry on its statistical site said 100,260 had been vaccinated on Thursday. Eight out of 10 administered doses are from the Pfizer/BioNTech company. So far, healthcare workers administered some 5.0 million vaccine doses and altogether roughly 1.4 million people have completed their vaccination in the Czech Republic, which has a population of 10.6 million. People 30 and over can currently register for vaccination.

Vojěch: Restaurants to reopen interiors on Monday

Restaurants and other catering facilities may open their interiors in the Czech Republic on Monday, May 31, Health Minister Adam Vojěch told journalists. There can be as many guests as the number of seats. At one table, only four guests can be seated. Besides, the required distance and wearing of face masks when not eating will be required. Like now, negative coronavirus tests, certificates on vaccination or past COVID disease will be necessary, Vojěch said. He said the government had proceeded to the sudden relaxation of the lockdown in order to respect a ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court (NSS). Vojěch said the relaxation should be slower and he preferred the restaurant reopening only after June 14, as planned before.

Big vaccination centers to work at least until August

Big coronavirus vaccination centers should operate at least until August and then the Czech state should more rely on general practitioners and smaller vaccination units in hospitals, new Health Minister Adam  Vojtěch said in the lower house of Czech parliament.

Lower house asks for updated strategy

The Chamber of Deputies asked the government to present an updated vaccination strategy, analyses the securing of vaccination capacities in the second half of the year and give information on the steps to the coronavirus revaccination of inhabitants. The MPs also wanted the campaign promoting vaccination to be modified to become more effective. Several MPs expressed the view that the vaccination strategy was not prepared well at first, but that the vaccination process has already been running well. "Unfortunately, the segment of general practitioners still is not working as it could be," MP Vít Kaňkovský (opposition KDU-ČSL) said. Vojtěch said he is ready to negotiate with the GPs.  

Deputies upset that many over 70 still waiting

Some members of the Chamber of deputies said they were taken aback by the fact that many people aged over 70 still have not received a date for their vaccination, although they got registered for it.

"I consider this a failure and it is very hard for me as a doctor to explain it to patients when they ask me about it in my office or in the hospital where I work," MP Vít Kaňkovský (opposition KDU-ČSL) said.

MP Zbyněk Stanjura, head of the Civic Democrats (opposition ODS) lower house group, said this situation is a big mistake and the state should first of all focus on the vaccination of senior citizens. He said some 100,000 people aged over 70 have not received a date for their vaccination yet. Vojtěch said this number includes also people who are waiting for the date when the second vaccine dose will be applied to them. He said second doses will be applied more now and so the waiting for the first doses may become longer.

Court says expired rules for face coverings were illegal

The April measure of the Health Ministry on compulsory respiratory protection was illegal, the Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) stated. It saw shortcomings in the statement of reasons for the contested measure, which was no longer in force. The court gave its decision on its website. The measure was valid from April 12 to May 3 and prohibited people over the age of two from moving and staying away from home without respiratory protective equipment, meaning without a respirator or mask. The reason was the epidemic situation. The NSS could no longer repeal the measure retroactively, only state its illegality. The measure currently in force is challenged in court by other proposals.

Hospitals unlikely to become overburdened again

Not even the risk scenarios of Covid-19 epidemic development suppose that Czech hospitals might get overburdened again, thanks to the mass vaccination of seniors, who, being the most vulnerable group, previously made up almost three-fourths of Covid hospitalizations, Health Information and Statistics Institute (ÚZIS) head Ladislav Dušek said. He said 740 people as of Thursday with coronavirus were staying in hospitals, the lowest number in the past eight months, and 133 of them were in serious condition. Patients with Covid-19 have stopped causing a limit on other usual healthcare services in hospitals. In mid-June, hospitals are expected to face a very low burden, with only several cases of new Covid hospitalizations a day.  

Cancer treatment rebounds after being heavily affected by Covid

Cancer treatment in the Czech Republic has resumed its regular operation after being heavily affected by the coronavirus epidemic. Two-thirds of surveyed doctors say they already have the same number of examined patients and their numbers are growing further, a poll by the IQVIA analytic company showed. The data show that after the epidemic outbreak last March, 44 percent of Czech oncologists examined fewer patients on a weekly basis in 2020 as against the pre-pandemic times. More than a half of respondents admitted delayed surgeries and fewer requests for special oncological examination. One-third of doctors noticed postponed starts of chemotherapy. More than 80 percent of respondents say that delayed and postponed precautionary examinations resulted in a lower number of successful and timely cancer diagnoses. 

Lower house to prepare plan for lagging students

The Chamber of Deputies wants to create a plan help pupils who have lagged behind due to the coronavirus epidemic. Steps to be taken in the next school year will be prepared by the school and medical committees. Due to this, the lower house suspended the discussion of information on the government's plan to address the negative effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the level of education in the Czech Republic.

Covid numbers continue to drop

The daily number of new Covid cases on Thursday was 505, the lowest on a workday in the Czech Republic since Sept. 1, 2020 when there were 498 cases, and roughly one-quarter smaller than a week ago, Health Ministry data released this morning showed. The daily number of Covid-related deaths is also considerably decreasing. In early May, there were around 40 fatalities a day, but in the past week just around 10. The death toll now stands at 30,088. The national reproduction number R, showing the speed of the epidemic spread, has stayed at 0.71. If under one, which has been the case since mid-April, the epidemic is slowing down.  

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (May 28, 2021)

  • New cases 505
  • Deaths 30 088
  • Currently hospitalized 669
  • PCR tests performed 7,244,340
  • Antigen tests performed 16,748,996
  • Total vaccinations 5,033,408
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 100,260
  • People who have completed vaccination 1,365,921
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 34
  • PES index 35
  • R number 0.71
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