Czech morning news in brief: Top stories for Nov. 26, 2020

Hamáček says lifting restrictions before Christmas a bad idea, more Czechs dying outside of COVID, Argentine football legend Maradona dies. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 26.11.2020 08:02:00 (updated on 26.11.2020) Reading time: 3 minutes

Top news stories for Nov. 26, 2020, compiled by CTK

Hamáček: Current PES level noes not warrant lifting restrictions

POLITICS - The Czech Deputy PM and Central Crisis Staff (UKS) head Jan Hamáček (CSSD) told reporters yesterday that the current COVID situation in the Czech Republic is not stable enough to say if the government will decide this Sunday to lift some lockdown restrictions next Monday. The cabinet has been debating whether to open all retail shops then. According to them, the decision will depend on the situation in the days to come. Hamáček also said at a press conference that the broad use of COVID antigen tests before Christmas would require massive mobilization and that firefighters are ready to assist with mobile sampling centers. The PES level has not been decreasing as fast as all we would like, Hamáček said. The PES number in the Czech Republic has been 57 for the third day in a row, which puts it at level three out of five, Health Ministry's data show.

More Czechs dying unrelated to COVID than last year

HEALTH - In October, the number of deaths other than coronavirus patients was about 1,000 higher than the October average in recent years. "Although the COVID-19 disease is the main cause of increased mortality in the Czech Republic, the October data also show an increase in mortality for other reasons than COVID-19, Health Minister Jan Blatny (ANO) told the press yesterday. The crucial task is therefore to restart the standard hospital health care as quickly as possible," Blatny said. COVID-19 was the cause of death in 27 percent of those who were diagnosed with the disease in the Czech Republic in the first half of 2020 however, this number has risen in the second half of the year and could reach up to 40 percent, Blatny said. He added that 9,000 to 10,000 people with the coronavirus will die this year. About 7,500 have died since the early March outbreak of the pandemic in the country so far. In the last three months of the year, the death rate in the Czech Republic will be higher than in preceding years, Blatny said. A total of 112,920 people died in the country of 10.7 million in 2018, the year from which the latest complete data are available. The most frequent causes of the deaths were cardiovascular diseases and cancer, which were behind almost three fifths of all deaths.

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona dies at 60

SPORT - Argentine legend Diego Maradona died Wednesday at the age of 60 at his home in Buenos Aires following a heart attack. In a press release, FIFA President Gianni Infantino paid personal tribute to the legend, “Today is an unbelievably sad day. Our Diego left us. Our hearts – of all of us who loved him for how he was, and for what he represented – have stopped beating for a moment. Our silence, our tears, our pain is the only thing we are feeling deep inside us at this time." Argentina President Alberto Fernandez also ordered three days of national mourning following the news. The Argentine government also said that Maradona's body will lie in state at the Casa Rosada government headquarters and that the he will be given a state funeral. One of the most famous moments in the history of the sport, the "Hand of God'' goal, came when Maradona punched the ball into England's net during the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals.

Czech conductor's recording nominated for Grammy Award

CULTURE - The Bohemian Tales recording by Czech conductor Jakub Hrusa and Italian-German-American violinist Augustin Hadelich performing Czech compositions has been nominated for a Grammy Award, the winners of which will be announced on January 31, PR manager Katerina Motlova told CTK. The album of violin compositions written by Antonin Dvorak, Josef Suk and Leos Janacek was recorded with the Bavarian Radio Symphonic Orchestra. "The first-class, global successes that Czech music has achieved recently has filled me with permanent pride and joy," Hrusa said of the nomination. "I am really happy I can contribute to the fame of Czech music around the world," he added. Both young artists, Hrusa, 39, and Hadelich, 36, performed Dvorak's concerto for violin and orchestra together for the first time in 2017, accompanied by the New York Philharmonic. At the time, The New York Times hailed Hrusa as a conductor on the rise and Hadelich as one of the best violinists of his generation.

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