Coronavirus update, May 5, 2021: Prague pilot concert to welcome 2,500 vaccinated or tested spectators

The free outdoor concert at Výstaviště aims to prove that large cultural events can be safe if precautions are followed.

Expats.cz

Written by Expats.cz
Published on 05.05.2021 09:44 (updated on 05.05.2021)

Pilot concert at Křižík Fountain will have 2,500 spectators

The pilot concert Chance for Culture (Šance pro kulturu) will take place on May 11 at the Křižík Fountain at Výstaviště in Prague's Holešovice district with up to 2,500 spectators. The group Chinaski group, violin virtuoso Pavel Šporcl, and guests will perform at the event held during the dismantling of measures against the Covid-19 pandemic. The concert is organized with the official support of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Viewers must provide proof that they are more than 14 days after the end of vaccination, have a negative PCR or antigen test, or have recovered from Covid. The aim is to show that concerts are a safe place if all the recommended precautions are followed. People can book tickets in the Ticketlive pre-sale network. The event is not organized for profit, so admission will be free for registered visitors. The organizers have decided to dedicate part of the tickets to the concert to paramedics, rescuers, firefighters, salesmen and other professions, whom they want to thank for their commitment during the pandemic.

 Babiš: Gardens will wait, schools should come first

The coronavirus situation in the Czech Republic is developing in the right direction. However, it is still not such that it is possible to talk about managing the epidemic, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on CNN Prima News. He wants to see the return of all students to schools with the introduction of PCR tests as soon as possible. On the contrary, Babiš would delay the opening of the restaurant gardens. "There are still thousands of infected. We cannot say now that we are out of it," Babiš said. He cited Israel as an example, which has already vaccinated the majority of the population, yet is loosening measures cautiously.

"We need to learn from last year's mistakes. There is a great chance to do it, but it is slow. Therefore, I ask everyone to still perceive the rules as three Rs and others. The virus is here with us, it will probably be for a long time. We haven't beaten him yet," Babiš said.

Babiš would prefer the renewal of full-time teaching before the opening of restaurant gardens. "I know that dispensing points at restaurants do not work perfectly, but gardens are not a priority," he said. The three Rs are ruce (hands), roušky (face masks), rozestupy (distancing). 

Chinese vaccine under evaluation by EU

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started evaluating the CoronaVac vaccine, which was developed against Covid-19 by the Chinese company Sinovac Life Sciences. The EMA said that that they were using an expedited rolling review process, but did not predict a date for approval. The vaccine is manufactured by the Wuchan branch of Sinopharm, which said in February that its preparation protects against Covid-19 with an effectiveness of 72.51 percent. CoronaVac works with inactivated, dead, SARS-CoV-2 cells that cannot cause disease. It also contains a supportive substance that strengthens the immune response. Following the administration of the vaccine, the human immune system identifies the inactivated virus as foreign and makes antibodies against it. The vaccine does not need to be frozen, which makes it easier to distribute and store. Two doses are required. If approved, it would be fifth vaccine used in the EU.  

People aged 50 to 54 can register for vaccination

People between the ages of 50 and 54 can start applying for vaccination against covid-19 via the website of the Ministry of Health. More than 686,000 of them live in the Czech Republic. To date, more than 373,000 vaccines have been given to people aged 50 to 59 who belong to one of the priority groups, and 118,000 have completed vaccination. People between the ages of 55 and 58 could register as of last Wednesday, and another five year group should open up next week.

Death rate in first quarter 50 percent higher than average

The Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ) reported that 43,100 people died in the Czech Republic from January 4 to March 28, 2021, or 14,271 more than the five-year average during the first 12 weeks of the year, and 14,906 people with Covid-19 died from January to March according to the Health Ministry. March has been the month with the highest coronavirus death toll in the country so far, 5,967. Last November, 4,977 infected patients died and in January 4,806. On the contrary, April was the month when the Covid death toll has been the lowest (2,473) in the current epidemic wave that started seven months ago. The highest increase in the mortality rate in the first 12 weeks of the year was in the age group from 75 to 84 when the number of deaths was higher by two thirds (67 percent) than the average. The death rate increase in the age group from 65 to 74 was only slightly lower (65 percent). In the age group from 40 to 64, the number of deaths is higher by one third than the five-year average.

Lower house won’t ask govt. for school leaving exams

The Chamber of Deputies will probably not ask the government to enact the possibility of official school-leaving examinations for this year. Yesterday, the lower house rejected a proposal by former Education Minister Kateřina Valachová to deal with graduation examinations again this week. Valachová justified this by the fact that the current Education Minister Robert Plaga refused to comply with the wishes of the lower house to allow official school-leaving examinations by ministerial order. According to Plaga, that would be illegal.

Virus spread slowing, vaccinations pick up pace

The spread of Covid-19 further slowed down, and vaccination accelerated. There were 2,405 new coronavirus infections, a quarter less than a week ago. Some 68,020 people were vaccinated, which is 15 percent more than the previous Tuesday, according to Health Ministry data. The daily numbers of newly confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been declining gradually since the beginning of March, when they reached almost 17,000. Recently, the free capacities of hospitals have also been growing. According to the ministry, 19 percent of beds with lung ventilation were available a month ago, while today 26 percent were available. The share of free standard beds with oxygen is now the same as at the beginning of April, at 28 percent. The reproduction number R dropped to 0.86 from 0.89, ending the recent trend of gradual increases.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (May 5, 2021)

  • New cases 2,405
  • Deaths 29,479
  • Currently hospitalized 2,484
  • PCR tests performed 6,828,436
  • Antigen tests performed 12,259,724
  • Reported vaccinations 3,343,811
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 123
  • PES index 46
  • R number 0.86
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