Coronavirus update, Sept. 15, 2021: Prague school closes down due to Covid spread

Plus: Chodov walk-in center already offering third jab, people in Covid quarantine can vote early at drive-throughs, Prague’s R number drops to 1.0. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 15.09.2021 09:50:00 (updated on 15.09.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

Prague 3 school closes over Covid spread among children, teachers

Public health officers will close the Chmelnice primary school in Prague 3 with the capacity of 700 children on Wednesday for at least 10 days due to rapid Covid spread among its pupils and teachers, its principal Václav Havelka announced on the school website yesterday. The school will transfer to remote teaching, he added. The coronavirus infection has been found in 44 children and one-third of the pupils are quarantined. In addition13 teachers are either Covid infected or quarantined, Havelka said.

"No matter how much we tried to keep our school in operation, the virus spread was stronger. On Tuesday morning, further classes were sent to quarantine, the number of pupils with positive PCR tests is rising every hour," Havelka said.

Distance teaching could be extended until the end of next week depending on the test results. The principal declared a day off at school for Monday, September 27, preceding the national holiday on September 28. 

Chodov walk-in center already offering third vaccine shot

The vaccination center in the Westfield-Chodov shopping center in Prague is already offering the third dose of vaccination against Covid-19 for the chronically ill or people who have already passed eight months since the second dose, news server iDnes reported. Registration for revaccination with the third dose is scheduled to begin on Monday, Sept. 20. However, vaccination is carried out in the Chodov vaccination center without registration. Anyone who is interested can receive a third dose of Covid vaccine if they are eight months after the second dose.

"So far, there are not many people who would meet this criterion, because vaccination of the public has been taking place since January," Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) spokeswoman Markéta Šenkýřová said.

In the vaccination center in the Chodov shopping center, only a vaccine from Pfizer / BioNTech is used. According to the spokesperson, everyone can be vaccinated with this, even if they had the first and second dose with other vaccines, or had the single-dose vaccine.  

Dog Croaked movement threw effigies of politicians into river

Several dozen people joined the protest against leading government as well as opposition politicians that the We Will Open Czechia – Dog Croaked (Otevřeme Česko – Chcípl PES) movement at Malostranské náměstí in the center of Prague yesterday.

Effigies representing politicians – PM Andrej Babiš (ANO); Industry, Trade and Transport Minister Karel Havlíček (for ANO); and Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (ČSSD); and opposition leaders (ODS) Petr Fiala (ODS) and Communist Vojtěch Filip (KSČM) – faced mock trials and finally were thrown into the Vltava River.

We Will Open Czechia – DOG Croaked is a new movement running in the Oct. 8–9 general election. Originally, it was a protest group associating the entrepreneurs opposed to the government's anti-epidemic restrictions.

People in Covid quarantine can vote early at drive-throughs

Elections to the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech Parliament, will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 6, due to the pandemic. people who are quarantined due to coronavirus will be able to vote two days before the standard opening of the polls. They will be able to vote from their cars at polling stations, similar to last year's regional and Senate elections.

At least one drive-in station per district will be available. The number will be decided by the regional authorities, which will publish their addresses no later than Sept. 23, the Interior Ministry said. The polls will operate from 8 am to 5 pm. The ministry will publish a map of individual habitats on their website. Voters in domestic quarantine or isolation will also be able to voting via a portable ballot box. However, they will have to order it at the regional office no later than 8 pm on Oct. 7. The general election is scheduled for Oct. 8–9.

Number of Covid hospitalized steeply rising in Slovakia

The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus infection steeply increased in Slovakia on Monday and was the highest since mid-June, the Slovak National Center of Health Information reported yesterday. In the past few weeks, the Covid spread has accelerated in Slovakia, which lags behind the EU average in Covid vaccination.

The number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 rose by 73, totaling 250. The Slovak Health Ministry says the crushing majority of the people hospitalized with coronavirus or tested positive in Slovakia were either not vaccinated at all or not fully inoculated. Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský estimated on Monday that the number of Covid cases would considerably rise in the following weeks and reach a peak in early October.  

Stricter rules against unvaccinated being imposed in some German regions

In some German regions, stricter rules can be applied to people who have not been vaccinated against or recovered from Covid-19. Entrepreneurs in gastronomy and event organizers will be able to decide to admit only vaccinated people and people who have undergone Covid-19, but not people with a negative test, German news agency DPA reported. Saxony will vote on new rules next week that would apply to events for up to 5,000 people.

If the organizer decides to exclude people who only have a test, it will not be necessary to wear a faced covering inside or maintain spacing. Restaurant owners could also let in more guests. The Saxon government will vote on the new rules next week. In Berlin, the new rules will apply from Saturday. In addition to gastronomic establishments or organizers of sports and cultural events, hairdressers and tourism companies could decide to offer their services only to the vaccinated and recovered.

Prague’s R number drops to 1.0

There were 553 new Covid cases reported for Tuesday, down slightly from the 582 reported last week but still the second-highest since the end of May. Hospitalizations dropped to 154 from a revised 152 a day earlier. There were 25 serious cases, three more than a day earlier. A week ago, 96 people were hospitalized with 16 in serious condition. No deaths were reported for the second day in a row. The September toll stands at eight. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 over seven days remained at 25, while the R number fell slightly to 1.11. It is still over 1.0, meaning the pandemic is spreading. The incidence number for both Prague and the Karlovy Vary region, where the pandemic is worst, was at 40. For Karlovy Vary, the R number is 0.93, while for Prague it is 1.00.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Sept. 15, 2021)

  • New cases 553
  • Deaths 30,417
  • Currently hospitalized 145
  • PCR tests performed 10,437,865
  • Antigen tests performed 26,628,873
  • Total vaccinations 11,661,302
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 11,710
  • People who have completed vaccination 5,861,425
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 25
  • PES index 45
  • R number 1.11
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