Czech morning news in brief: top stories for Dec. 30, 2020

Anti-COVID PES index returns to fifth level, six doses of vaccine from one vial approved and Czech Republic to donate to Croatian earthquake effort

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 30.12.2020 08:43 (updated on 30.12.2020) Time to read: 3 minutes

Anti-COVID PES index returns to highest level as cases rise

The coronavirus risk within Czechia's PES epidemic system returned to the highest fifth degree today with the risk index rising by nine points to 80 on the 0-100 scale, the Health Ministry's data show. Other closely watched figures, such as the number of cases among seniors and the test positivity rate have been worsening, but they have not influenced the risk index for now.

The infection risk stayed on the fourth degree on the 1-5 scale in the past three days. On Tuesday, the risk index was 71. Some 16,329 cases were reported on Tuesday; which is, according to Novinky, a record since the start of the outbreak. The death toll is currently at 11,429.


Ministry confirms six doses of vaccine from one vial

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The Czech Health Ministry has approved the use of six doses instead of five from one ampoule of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 and hospitals can start vaccinating this way as of today, PM Andrej Babis (YES) tweeted last night.

The aim of this change is to raise the number of people to be vaccinated. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the use of this vaccine for all EU member states conditionally for two years.

The ministry approved the use of up to six doses temporarily until end-March on the basis of the assessment by the State Institute for Drug Control (SUKL). Read more here.

Czech Republic donates to Croatian earthquake efforts

The Czech Republic will send equipment worth about five million crowns to Croatia which was hit by an earthquake yesterday, Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) tweeted. Czech PM Andrej Babis (ANO) discussed potential material aid with his Croatian counterpart Andrej Plenkovic over the phone, adding that Czechia is ready to help.

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Croatia has asked for tents, sleeping bags and lighting equipment. The delivery will be handed by Czech firefighters. Croatia was hit by an earthquake on Monday with another one of 6.3 magnitude following yesterday. Its tremor was felt in the Czech Republic and Slovakia too. More details here.

Brexit deal signed off by the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic formally sent its consent to the agreement between the EU and Britain on the arrangement of their relations, including trade ones, after the Brexit transition period today.

Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek (Social Democrats, CSSD) told CTK that all EU member states had already expressed consent to the deal. On Wednesday, the British parliament will be approving the deal that the ambassadors of the EU countries unanimously supported on Monday. The EU members had to formally confirm the deal in writing.

The UK left the EU in late January 2020 with negotiators eventually reaching an agreement last week on a trade deal. The full story here.

A royal birthday gift

The Association for the Kingdom of Bohemia Renewal plans to give a replica of the Czech royal crown to the Austria-based grandson of Charles I, the last Habsburg emperor and king of Bohemia. The crown will be given as a present on his 60th birthday on January 11, the association head Jindrich Holub has told CTK. The Crown for Charles project is to remind the public that the Habsburg-Lothringen ruling dynasty still exists and has a number of fans.

The St Wenceslas crown is a part of the Czech coronation jewels that are kept in Prague's St Vitus cathedral. The replica has been made of silver, is gold-plated, and is decorated with glass replicas of precious stones. Read the whole story here.

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