Czech hospitals are prepared for coronavirus outbreak, says Health Minister

While no instance of coronavirus in the Czech Republic has been confirmed, hospitals are prepared says Health minister Adam Vojtěch


Written by ČTK Published on 26.02.2020 08:52:46 (updated on 26.02.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Benesov, Central Bohemia/Prague, Feb 25 (CTK) – Czech hospitals are prepared for the occurrence of coronavirus, which has not appeared in the country but the risk does exist, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch (for ANO) told media on a visit to the Benesov hospital today.

Regarding the impending risk, Czech health facilities must coordinate their action, he said in the wake of a steep increase of coronavirus cases in northern Italy.

A total of 86 people have been tested for coronavirus so far, and all tested negative, Vojtěch said.

There is no reason to panic and ban mass events, but caution is recommended, Vojtěch said later today.

He also asked the Administration of State Material Reserves (SSHR) to buy tens of thousands of face masks in connection with the coronavirus. The office is waiting for the ministry’s specification and then it will put up public procurement as soon as possible, SSHR chairman Pavel Svagr told CTK today.

PM Andrej Babis (ANO) convoked the broadened board of the Czech National Security Council (BRS) to consult it on the situation tonight.

In the meantime, CK Canaria Travel CZ agency director Lenka Vikova and Invia agency spokeswoman Andrea Reznickova told CTK that six Czech tourists are staying in a hotel in Tenerife, on which the Spanish authorities imposed quarantine after an Italian guest was diagnosed with coronavirus.

Five of the Czechs left for Tenerife on Monday and are scheduled to return on March 6. One woman departed for Tenerife earlier. It is not clear whether they will be able to return as planned, Vikova said.

Five Czech adults and a child are staying in the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel, which has been under police supervision since Monday evening, she said.

Vojtech said Czech hospitals are prepared for patients with the very infectious disease and know how to proceed.

He recalled that the has convoked a meeting of the National Epidemiologic Commission that includes representatives of other ministries.

“We are monitoring the data and communicating with other countries of Europe, including Italians, on how the situation has developed,” Vojtech said.

“For the moment, it seems that there is a clearly defined cluster, an area that is closed, and that the epidemic is not spreading massively. Nevertheless, we must be prepared in case a patient [with coronavirus] appeared in our country,” Vojtech said, referring to the situation in Italy.

Spreading from China, new coronavirus has killed over 2,660 people so far, a crushing majority of them in China.

At the Prague-Ruzyne international airport, the staff detained 11 Czech university students on arrival from Iran, where coronavirus cases also appeared recently. The passengers were tested for the novel coronavirus in Prague’s Na Bulovce hospital. The results are not known yet.

As they show no symptoms, they will stay in home quarantine, hospital press section head Filip Repa told CTK.

Those are students of universities of Plzen, west Bohemia, Olomouc, north Moravia, and Ceske Budejovice, south Bohemia, Prague sanitary officers’ spokesman Zbynek Boublik said.

Airport spokesman Roman Pacvon told CTK that the case showed that protective measures the airport introduced a few days ago worked well.

According to the official data, 95 people have got infected with the novel coronavirus and 16 have died in Iran since last week.

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