Coronavirus update, May 7, 2021: Czech Republic falls into 'better half' of overall EU rankings for Covid cases

The Czech Republic set a daily record of over 81,000 vaccinated Thursday and remains 15th in the EU for new cases, but eighth in overall deaths. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 07.05.2021 09:51:00 (updated on 07.05.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

Babiš: A record 81,753 people vaccinated in one day

The highest number of people in the Czech Republic – 81,753 – received vaccinations against covid-19 in one day since the start of vaccination on Thursday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced on Twitter. According to data on the website of the Ministry of Health, the number of administered vaccine doses was about 3,800 higher than last Thursday, which was the previous record. Vaccination began in the Czech Republic at the end of last December, and since then about 3.42 million doses have been given and over 1 million people have been fully vaccinated. Vaccine numbers have fluctuated recently, with around 70,000 doses of vaccine given daily this week, with the third-highest number of vaccine injections recorded on Wednesday when 76,000 people got it.

Czech Republic ranks 15th in EU for new cases

According to the number of coronavirus infections in the last 14 days, the worst situation in the European Union is still in Cyprus with 1145 infected per 100 000 population. The second worst situation is in Sweden, with 692, and Croatia is third with 673. The Czech Republic, which was the worst from the beginning of February to the middle of March, ranks 15th as it did a week ago. It was the 12th two weeks ago. The Czech Republic has 298 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, according to data from the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC). (New data from the Czech Health Ministry shows the Czech Republic at 254 cases per 100,000 over 14 days as of Friday morning.)  Hungary still has the highest number of deaths per capita in the last two weeks, with 59 deaths per million inhabitants. Bulgaria is in second place with 187, and Poland is third with 157. The Czech Republic is the eighth with 78 deaths per million inhabitants, down from 101 a week ago.

Elementary schools in all regions to reopen as of May 10

Practical and clinical instruction at universities will resume for students of all years on Monday, May 10, and elementary schools in all regions will join the rotation scheme, alternating between a week of regular and a week of online learning, the Education Ministry said. Students have already returned to grades six through nine in the regions with the lowest incidence of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, and grades one through five have been rotating since April 12. All schools, including kindergartens, closed over Covid-19 on March 1, but most schools ran distance education many weeks before.

Remaining museums, galleries, and heritage sites to reopen May 10

Museums, galleries, and heritage sites will reopen in the rest of the Czech regions where they aren’t already open as of Monday, May 10, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said after Thursday’s cabinet meeting. Since May 3, Museums, galleries and heritage sites reopened in Prague and another six regions with the most favorable epidemiological situation, and the remaining seven regions will see them reopening as of next Monday. Group sightseeing tours will remain banned. nevertheless.

PM Babiš wants school attendance without rotation as of mid-May

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš wants children to switch to regular school attendance without the class rotation regime as of mid-May, he said in the Chamber of Deputies yesterday, calling it an absolute priority amid the coronavirus restrictions relaxation.

"I clearly told the Health Minister and the Education Minister, the State Material Reserves Administration head and Deputy Health Minister [Pavla] Svrčinová that I wish that they do their utmost for all elementary and secondary school students to start full-presence lessons at school, without the rotation regime," Babiš said.

After several-month closure, elementary schools opened to the first to fifthth-graders on April 12, with classes weekly alternating on presence and distance learning. On May 3, they opened to the fifth-ninth graders in the rotation regime in selected regions with the most favorable epidemiological situation.

Culture could restart by May 24 at 50 percent of venue's capacity

Culture performances restrictions might see the first softening as of May 24, Health Minister Petr Arenberger said, but it is conditional on a further sharp improvement of the epidemiological situation. Indoor culture events may be permitted on that date with the audience up to 50 percent of the hall's capacity. Next week, the cabinet will probably outline the rules for organizing cultural events in the summer months, Arenberger said. The Health Ministry and the Culture Ministry each have their own timetable. The Health Ministry is for much tougher conditions, against which Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek vehemently protested in recent days.

Education ministry wants schools to use more precise PCR tests

The Education Ministry wants to encourage schools to use more precise and more expensive laboratory-treated PCR tests. Thus, it will pay schools CZK 200 in compensation per PCR test until the end of June, Plaga said. He assumes that the tests might come cheaper if many samples are analysed at once. Health Minister Petr Arenberger said the government was considering using PCR tests for Covid during summer camps for children, too. Plaga said schools should have enough tests up to the end of next week and they were instructed to reach out to the regional institutes of pedagogy if they lack Covid test kits. On Monday, the results of the repeated tender for school tests should be available, he said.

New infections below 2,000 for second day in a row

The number of new Covid cases was below 2,000 for second consecutive day on Thursday, with 1,559. which was 670 fewer than a week ago, according to Health Ministry data. The daily number of newly confirmed cases has been falling for several weeks now, having reached almost 17,000 in early March. On Wednesday, it dropped below 2,000 on a workday for the first time since late September. The number of new Covid cases in the past week stands at 111 per 100,000 inhabitants, which is seven fewer than on Thursday. This indicator is currently crucial for the government's deciding on softening the coronavirus restrictions. The reproduction number R has also fallen, to 0.81 from Thursday's 0.85. The lower below 1 the R stands, the slower the epidemic's spread is.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (May 7, 2021)

  • New cases 1,559
  • Deaths 29,608
  • Currently hospitalized 2 187
  • PCR tests performed 6,861,420
  • Antigen tests performed 12,724,565
  • Total vaccinations 3,508,897
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 81,753
  • People with both doses 1,045,154
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 111
  • PES index 46
  • R number 0.81
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