Czech weekend news in brief: top stories for Aug. 1, 2021

Czech Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline, NASA releases photo from Czech astronomer, and more top headlines from this weekend.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 01.08.2021 09:27 (updated on 01.08.2021)

Reported Czech Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline

There were 117 Covid-19 cases reported in the Czech Republic on Friday, 10 less than a week ago, according to information released by the Czech Health Ministry this morning. The number of the infections per 100,000 people over the past week has fallen to 11. The reproduction number, showing how many people are infected by one Covid-19 positive person, remains at 0.90. The number of the people hospitalized with Covid-19 has fallen to 44.

Since the outbreak last March, over 1.674 million infected have been recorded. Most of them have recovered, but 30,374 people have died. Recently, however, there has been a low number of victims; the last death was recorded on July 21. In the month of July, there were just 12 Covid-related deaths in the Czech Republic.

Czech PM to continue working through government holidays

While Czech government members in the ANO and CSSD parties will have a two-week summer holiday this year, shorter than in previous years. Still, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš will not be taking any time off. Babiš wants to decide who will head the Czech counter-intelligence agency BIS after the term of office of current head Michal Koudelka runs out.

Given the upcoming election to the Chamber of Deputies, which will take place in early October, the ministers and Babiš are concentrating on the election campaign along with their normal agenda. The election, along with estimates of economic development, will also postpone budget bill discussions until 2022. Finance Minister Alena Schillerová is expected to present the preliminary bill in August.

NASA releases Czech astronomer's photo

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has released Czech astronomer Petr Horálek's photo of the Neowise comet, Remembering Neowise, depicting the trajectory of the comet last summer. "The comet Neowise was clearly seen last July first at the morning and later at the evening sky, being the most clear comet on the northern hemisphere over the past 24 years," Horalek told CTK. He took the snap during a lecture about space.

NASA has regularly released Horálek's photos. Last August, it published his photograph Perseids from Perseus, a multi-exposure photo of a meteor shower taken from a meadow next to an observatory in Eastern Slovakia in 2018.

Locomotive collides with passenger train, two injuries reported

A locomotive collided with a train in Němčice nad Hanou on Saturday, resulting in two injuries, police spokeswoman Miluše Zajícová has told journalists. Traffic on the route between Nezamyslice and Kojetín was interrupted, and two carriages of the passenger train derailed. One passenger and the driver of the locomotive were hospitalized with injuries. Both injuries are minor.

Firefighters rescued five passengers and personnel from the train. The derailed carriages will be removed from the rail by a special crane overnight. Railway inspection estimates the damage at 10.3 million crowns. Traffic may resume on Sunday afternoon, Czech Railways has stated.

Iraqi church sponsored by Czech Christians opens

A Christian church in the Iraqi town Qaraqosh, to which the Czech Catholic Church contributed, will open on July 31, according to the Czech Bishops Conference. The new church will be devoted to Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Hope, as a sign of gratitude that the local Christians have been able to return to their homes after the war with the Islamic State in 2018.

The construction of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Hope in Qaraqosh began in January. The cost of the entire project was estimated at 380,000 dollars (8.15 million crowns). The Catholic church in the Czech Republic donated about 200,000 dollars (4.3 million crowns) raised through contributions.

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