Coronavirus update, Sept. 27, 2021: Covid testing could be waived for school trips

Foreign students are undergoing re-vaccination, free testing to continue through October, and the R number is on the rise.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff
Published on 27.09.2021 09:58 (updated on 27.09.2021)

Govt. to discuss relaxing rules for schools today

The Czech govt. will address further relaxation of the anti-epidemic measures in place at schools on Monday. The changes would concern the need to test or show proof of infectivity when attending school excursions, SeznamZpravy server wrote over the weekend. A draft of the measure suggests that in the future, students might not be required to test when attending school excursions to the theatre and zoo, as well as during after-school clubs.

The draft will be presented to the government Monday and could still see some minor changes. The Ministry of Health supports the view that the epidemic development at schools is relatively stable based on precautionary coronavirus testing recently conducted at schools.

Four antigen, two PCR tests will be covered by insurance in October

Four antigenic and two PCR tests will be free for Czechs in October, maybe even longer. Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch told Radiožurnál on Sunday. The government originally wanted to abolish free preventive testing from September 1, but eventually backed down, saying it wanted to have a better overview of the spread of the disease. 

According to the Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch, free tests must be maintained due to the deteriorating epidemic situation. He said tests should remain covered if the epidemic intensifies. Health insurance companies, however, say that if free testing lasted until the end of the year it could endanger the financial stability of the system and many are pushing for people to pay for the tests to be paid out of pocket.

Foreign students are being revaccinated against Covid

Foreign students from some countries are getting re-vaccinated against Covid in the Czech Republic as the Czech state does not recognize their vaccination with the same substance from their home country, Mendel University in Brno said in a press release. Without the approved vaccination, these students must be tested for coronavirus every week if they stay in student dormitories, which is a condition of their scholarship.

The university highlights the plight of some 90 Mendel University students from Ghana who face these problems; students from China are in a similar plight. In total, about 100 foreign students from the university may have to seek re-vaccination. A representative from the university said: "The Czech state invites students, for instance, from Georgia and Zambia to the Czech Republic providing scholarships with accommodation to them, but on the other hand, it considerably complicates their stay."

Televised debate puts Czech PM in hot seat over handling of pandemic

Representatives of eight parties running for the Chamber of Deputies met on Sunday evening in a pre-election debate on CNN Prima News. Mistakes made by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš's government during the Covid pandemic were called into question by the opposition during the debate.

Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (ČSSD) accused the opposition of endangering lives by delaying the extension of the state of emergency while opposition leader Petr Fiala (ODS) responded to the PM's criticism by saying: "The Prime Minister can shout whatever he wants here. The responsibility is clear, the government ruled. I guarantee you that if the opposition ruled, it would have turned out much better and we did not have 30,000 dead."

Covid epidemic in the Czech Republic accelerates slightly

The Czech Republic reported 250 new Covid cases on Sunday, 66 more than a week ago, with the overall incidence rate remaining 30 cases per 100,000 population over the past seven days. The reproduction number R slightly rose from 1.05 to 1.06, the Health Ministry's morning data shows. At the end of last week, 169 people were hospitalized over the coronavirus infection, nine fewer than last Sunday.

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In a week-over-week comparison, the numbers of newly infected are on the rise. As in 2020, the figures began to increase at the end of the summer holidays. Last week saw 13 Covid deaths, but the figure could be updated. The incidence rate remains highest in Prague, with 52 cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days, followed by the Moravia-Silesia Region with 48 cases. In contrast, the epidemic situation is the best in the Liberec and Hradec Králové regions, with eight and nine cases per population respectively.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Sept. 27, 2021)

  • New cases 250
  • Deaths to date 30,454
  • Currently hospitalized 169
  • PCR tests performed 8,073
  • Antigen tests performed 23,160
  • Total vaccinations 11,779,255
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 1,894
  • Vaccinations completed 5,938,393
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 30
  • R number 1.06
  • PES number 52
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