Czech morning news in brief: Top stories for Nov. 24, 2020

Czech govt. orders COVID-19 vaccines, Prymula to be PM's advisor, hospitals reopen for elective care treatment. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.11.2020 08:06:00 (updated on 24.11.2020) Reading time: 4 minutes

Top news stories for Nov. 24, 2020, compiled by CTK.

Czech Republic orders millions of COVID-19 vaccines

COVID - The Czech Republic has ordered 5.5 million COVID-19 vaccines from three producers worth CZK 1.8 billion crowns, through a joint agreement with the EU and is negotiating with other producers for more, according to Health Minister Jan Blatny (ANO) yesterday. "Vaccines for up to 10.6 million citizens are in reserve from other pharmaceutical producers," he said. Blatny said that although the Czech Republic has only 10.7 million citizens, it should have vaccines for up to 16 million people, as other countries have also decided to have more vaccines than people. Currently, EU countries are negotiating the delivery of the vaccine with seven producers. As per their agreement, they must buy them if the vaccines pass all tests and are certified. In the Czech Republic, the vaccination should be covered by the state health insurance system.

Former health minister Prymula to be PM Babis’s advisor

POLITICS - Former health minister Roman Prymula has been chosen as an advisor to Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO), the PM announced at a press conference yesterday. Babis said Prymula would be his consultant on healthcare. Epidemiologist Prymula was health minister for a month, from late September to late October. He was forced to leave the government after a scandal he was involved in showed photos of him without a face mask in a restaurant, which should have been closed due to lockdown measures. In the spring, Prymula coordinated anti-virus measures at the Health Ministry and then headed-up the Central Crisis Staff. Until now, it was unclear whether Prymula would hold a post in the state sector.

Hospitals no longer required to postpone elective care

HEALTH - Czech hospitals no longer have to postpone elective treatment and may now carry out planned operations, as long as they continue to reserve beds for patients with COVID-19, Health Minister Jan Blatny (ANO) said yesterday. Some hospitals have already resumed elective care, such as Prague Motol University Hospital which said it would restart orthopedic treatment. Blatny said that even with the resumption of elective care, hospitals should have enough beds in the event the pandemic resurges. On October 26, the Health Ministry ordered hospitals to limit non-urgent care so that there would be enough beds for COVID-19 patients.

Govt. earmarks more money for firefighters

SAFTEY WORKERS - The Czech government agreed yesterday to contribute CZK 74 million for firefighter's salaries in order to pay for emergency and overtime work in connection with measures introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19. In total, the state will spend more than six billion crowns on firefighter's salaries this year. The Interior Ministry report submitted to the government, noted that firefighters have important tasks based on the demands of the Central Crisis Staff, the government, regional and municipal authorities. Firefighters take part in the distribution of protective equipment disinfect buildings, help operate social care homes and in the spring, helped repatriate Czechs from abroad.

Czech Republic to adopt UN resolution on women, peace and security

WOMEN'S RIGHTS - Yesterday, the government approved a National Action Plan for 2021-2025, prepared by the Foreign Ministry which adopts the UN Security Council resolution on women, peace and security in the Czech Republic, according to information on the government website. The action plan wants to strengthen the participation of women and their leading role in all spheres related to peace and security and the prevention of conflict through the support of women’s rights and gender equality. It also addresses the systematic inclusion of gender affairs in all spheres related to peace and security by providing developmental and transformation cooperation, as well as humanitarian aid focusing on the needs of women.

Czech cyberbullying series #martyisdead wins International Emmy Award

FILM - Milan Kuchynka, co-producer of the Czech Internet series #martyisdead, which addresses cyberbullying, won the International Emmy Award for short-form series yesterday. Kuchynka told CTK that the award was unexpected and made him very happy, "I did not expect it at all. Even being nominated for the award was a huge success," he said. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards ceremony was online. #martyisdead is the first Czech series ever to win an Emmy. Co-producers Kuchynka, Slajer and Jakub Kostal said they considered the award a success for Czech film makers and the country as a whole. Kuchynka added that cyberbullying is something that affects many people, especially parents. "As parents and filmmakers, we all considered it an important mission to get this information out," he said. The story is about 15-year-old Marty who shoots himself, and of the people around him who would like to erase what happened to him from their memory. The miniseries #martyisdead is directed by Pavel Soukup, with script by Jaroslav T. Miska and Jan Stehlik.

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