Coronavirus update, Oct. 14, 2021: Czech PM convening council to address deteriorating Covid situation

Plus: Nine people seek compensation for Covid vaccination, court to discuss recognition of antibodies, new Covid cases again near 1,500. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 14.10.2021 09:49:00 (updated on 15.10.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Government Council for Health Risks to discuss coronavirus resurgence

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has called for a Thursday meeting of the Government Council for Health Risks over the recent rapid spread of coronavirus, Babiš tweeted yesterday. For about two months, the spread of Covid-19 has been speeding up in the Czech Republic.

"The Covid figures are worsening with more people hospitalized, primarily the unvaccinated. Vaccination is the only way that can defeat the Covid" Babiš said.

"This must not be underestimated. I have called the Government Council for Health Risks for Thursday, and the Health Ministry will introduce another strategy," he added. The Government Council for Health Risks was founded last July. It is headed by the prime minister. Other members are the health, defense, and interior ministers, the chairman of the Association of Regions, the vice president of the General Health Insurance (VZP), the government commissioner for IT and digitation, and epidemiologist Petr Smejkal.

Nine people seek compensation for Covid vaccination

Nine people have so far sought compensation for complications caused by the vaccination against Covid-19 in the Czech Republic. Three are demanding CZK 100 million each. The Health Ministry has rejected three applications and is processing the other six. People who fail with their applications for compensation can turn to the court. None of those whose claims were rejected has done so yet, the ministry said. The complainants must prove that the complications were caused by the Covid vaccination.

"There might be only time connection without any causal link between the vaccine application and reactions," the State Drug Control Institute (SÚKL) said.

Health professionals have so far applied almost 11.9 million vaccine doses and over 6 million people have completed vaccination. Some, 8,400 people have reported adverse effects, most often pain in the jab puncture or flu-like symptoms. The second biggest group of side effects includes neurological troubles – such as paralyzed limbs and face, or stroke – and the rare Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Education Ministry has not ordered more Covid tests

The Czech Education Ministry has so far failed to order 1.6 million tests for Covid-19, which the Health Ministry wanted to provide as a reserve for possible further testing for coronavirus in schools. The supplier said that the Health Ministry refused to extend the permit to place the tests on the market, as it had not yet decided on further testing in schools. In an Oct. 12 letter from the Education Minister Robert Plaga to Health Minister Adam Vojtěch, Plaga called on Vojtěch to tell him how he wanted to ensure the readiness of schools for the possible need for further Covid-19 testing. The Education Ministry currently has a reserve of about 3 million tests. No further tests are currently planned, but they may occur if the situation further deteriorates.

Court to discuss recognition of antibodies

The Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) today will discuss Tomáš Havetta's motion to annul part of the already invalid Health Ministry measure from Aug. 26. The passage sets the conditions for entering some indoor and outdoor spaces and participating in mass events. The case concerns the matter of not recognizing antibodies as proof that someone is not spreading Covid. Vaccination, a recent test, or proof of recovery are recognized. The court has stated in the past that the Health Ministry should explain and clearly justify why it does not recognize the laboratory-proven presence of antibodies.

Number of new cases again near 1,500

There were 1,497 new Covid cases reported for Wednesday, down slightly from the day before but up from 1,045 cases a week earlier. Some 407 people are hospitalized, with 80 in serious condition. A week ago, 320 people were hospitalized with 68 in serious condition. Three deaths were reported for Wednesday and earlier figures were revised, bringing the October toll to 46. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days reached 69, up from 65 a day earlier and 52 a week earlier. The reproduction number R rose slightly to 1.26 from 1.23 a day earlier. Last week it was 1.30. For Prague, the incidence number is 87 and the R number is 1.21. In the Moravia-Silesia region, where the epidemic is worst, the incidence number is 117.  

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Oct. 14, 2021)

  • New cases 1,497
  • Deaths to date 30,524
  • Currently hospitalized 407
  • Daily increase in PCR tests 30,843
  • Daily increase in antigen tests 34,893
  • Total vaccinations 11,917,933
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 9,586
  • Vaccinations completed 6,014,152
  • Total booster shots 30,646
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 69
  • R number 1.26
  • PES number 64
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