Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for March 25, 2021

A significant jump in Czech mortality reported, rents in Prague and regions decrease, and a major exhibit from a Prague museum now online. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 25.03.2021 09:47:00 (updated on 25.03.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czech mortality in early 2021 rose by 46 percent against the average

Mortality in the Czech Republic for the first six weeks of this year rose by 46 percent against the average in the same period from 2015-2019 mostly due to the coronavirus epidemic. Covid-19 is the cause of more than 90 percent of the excessive number of deaths, said a spokesperson from the Faculty of Science's Social Demography Chair of the Prague-seated Charles University. When comparing the first six weeks of 2021 with the previous period, demographers found that the mortality level has risen by 46 percent. The highest death rate was in the age category from 75 to 84 years (62 percent), followed by those aged 65 to 74 years (54 percent). According to the current statistical data, the Czech Republic has the highest number of COVID deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in the EU and the second highest in the world. ČTK

Czech interest rates remain unchanged for now

The Czech Republic’s central bank unanimously voted to keep its key interest rate unchanged Wednesday, citing substantial risks to the economic outlook, the Czech National Bank said in a statement. The benchmark two-week repo rate was held steady at 0.25 percent. The previous change in the rate was a 75 basis points reduction in May last year at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. "A slower fading out of the unfavorable epidemic situation, and thus slower opening of the domestic and European economies, remains the most substantial risk,” the CNB said. Economists predict the first interest rate hike to 0.50 percent will come in November once most restrictions have been eased in the country and economic recovery has started. CNB

IKEA to open a design studio at Westfield Chodov

The IKEA furniture chain will open its first design studio in the Central European region in the summer in Prague in the Westfield Chodov shopping center. It will allow customers to plan the reconstruction or modification of the interior, including kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and storage spaces, with IKEA consultants. The company will announce a specific date for the start of operations at the beginning of the summer. ČTK

Average rents in the Czech Republic decreased, Prague still most expensive

The average rent in the Czech Republic decreased. At the end of last year, housing rents in Prague and regional cities fell by an average of 3.3 percent quarter on quarter to CZK 237 per square meter. The most expensive was Prague at CZK 287, the cheapest was Ústí nad Labem with an average rent of CZK 170 per square meter. The data comes from a study by consulting company Deloitte announced this week at an online conference of the Rental Housing Association. ČTK

National Gallery's Rembrandt exhibit is now online

The exhibition Rembrandt: Portrait of a Man has officially ended at the National Gallery in Prague, but has been closed since December 27 due to government measures against the spread of coronavirus. Now the exhibition, which took place in the Kinský Palace, can be viewed in the form of a 3D 360° virtual tour published on the NGP website. NGP managed to extend the exhibition of works by the Dutch painter until March 21, but the restrictions still did not allow the gallery to open. The exhibition was open less than a quarter of the planned time and was seen by only 26,629 visitors; on some days it was open only to a capacity of 25 percent. Normally, the exhibition would be one of the highlights of the season, similar exhibitions in the Czech Republic typically draw hundreds of thousands of visitors. ČTK

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