Czech news in brief for November 13: Monday's top headlines

Health officials to address increased respiratory cases today, former NHL goalie and Nagano player Čechmánek dies, and more headline for Nov. 13, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 13.11.2023 08:36:00 (updated on 13.11.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

health Free HIV testing available across Czechia in late November

The European Testing Week, which is being held in all regions of the Czech Republic from Nov. 20 to 27, offers free and anonymous testing for HIV and other types of infections. This annual event, organized by the State Health Institute under the Ministry of Health, aims to provide free testing for HIV infection, jaundice type B and C, and syphilis.

The goal is to detect these infections early and facilitate prompt treatment. The full list of organizations offering free testing is available at

economy Profit of Czech forest company nosedives in 2023

The state enterprise Forests Czech Republic (Lesy České republiky, LČR) reported a 37 percent decrease in gross profit for the first three quarters of the year. The decline is mainly due to a reduction in logging after the bark beetle disaster subsided. Timber harvesting by LČR also fell by 24 percent year-on-year.

The company's sales for the same period fell by 22 percent compared to last year. It paid an additional levy of half a billion crowns to the state, increasing the total levy for this year to CZK 3.5 billion.

diplomacy Czech minister of defense takes part in Kyiv commemorations

Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová honored fallen Czechoslovak soldiers who participated in the liberation of Kyiv 80 years ago in Ukraine. The ceremony took place in Kyiv over the weekend despite the current security situation, according to a Czech Ministry of Defense press release.

The liberation of Kyiv, which took place from Nov. 3 to 6, 1943. is considered the most successful operation of the Czechoslovak ground forces during World War II. About 3,500 Czechoslovak soldiers made a significant contribution to the victory in Kyiv.

international Czech citizen and family evacuated from Gaza Strip

One Czech citizen and one family member were evacuated from the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing. Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský confirmed the evacuation but did not provide details regarding their identities.

The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs also stated that nine individuals connected to the Czech Republic are currently registered for evacuation in Gaza. Lipavský mentioned that returning from Egypt to the Czech Republic is easier than returning from Gaza to Egypt.

transport Pankrác metro station to close for a year starting in 2025

The metro station Pankrác will be closed starting from January 1, 2025, for a year due to the construction of a transfer to the station under construction on metro line D. The transport company will also renovate the current station, including modernizing the lighting and building a public toilet. Trains will only pass through the station during the closure.

The tram line from Pankrác to Budějovická and Na Strži will be extended and an underpass will be built. The closure is part of the construction of metro line D from Pankrác to Písnice. Over 55,000 passengers use the Pankrác metro station, which is located on the C (red) line, daily.

economy Kellner family creates superholding company for its assets

Late businessman Petr Kellner's family announced the establishment of the company Amalar Holding, which will simplify the ownership structure and consolidate all family assets. The superholding will be under the control of the Kellner family. A family advisory board, headed by former prime minister Jiří Rusnok, will provide consultation on management and investments.

The shares of family members will be gradually invested in the new entity. Renáta Kellnerová, widow of Petr Kellner, together with her daughters, will serve on the board of directors. Other members of the advisory board include respected individuals from various fields.

health Health officials to address uptick in respiratory illnesses

Health officials will meet today to discuss a 6.7 percent rise in respiratory infections and a near doubling of Covid cases. Deputy Health Minister Josef Pavlovic, State Health Institute director Barbora Macková, hygienist Pavla Svrčinová, and pandemic expert Roman Chlíbek will address the media this morning.

Doctors reported 1,161 patients per 100,000 with respiratory illnesses last week, under the epidemic threshold. However, Covid cases jumped from 1,526 on the first Monday in November, up to 832 in October according to ministry data. Officials will provide updates and advice.

Sports Czech hockey goalie Čechmánek dies at 52

The Czech Republic mourns the loss of former hockey goalie Roman Čechmánek, who died this week at his home in Uherské Hradiště, according to officials. Čechmánek, an Olympic champion, and three-time world champion, served as a backup for Dominik Hašek at the 1998 Nagano Games where the Czechs took gold.

He spent four seasons in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings, winning a Jennings Trophy in 2003. Details around Čechmánek's cause of death remain unclear, though friends say he had not been ill. He retired from playing in 2009 after a career representing Czech clubs and national teams.

In memoriam Praguers pay respects in front of Schwarzenberg House

About 100 people gathered in front of the Schwarzenberg House on Voršilská Street in the center of Prague to remember former Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, who died Saturday in Vienna at age 85. Deputy Mayor Jiří Pospíšil, of Schwarzenberg's TOP 09 party, called him one of the greatest personalities of modern Czech history.

Schwarzenberg served as foreign minister and was a longtime senator and founding chairman of TOP 09. Until retiring from politics last year, he was the oldest member of parliament. Schwarzenberg was recently awarded the Order of the White Lion, the Czech Republic's highest honor, for his distinguished service in politics. His colleagues praise his leadership and representation in Czech public life.

weather Czechia braces for a windy, rainy week ahead

Czech weather officials warn that strong winds and rain or snow are expected this week. Today will see mixed precipitation and highs of 4-8 degrees Celsius. Tuesday may reach 13 degrees Celsius in the south but rains and gusts of wind over 50 kph are expected.

Wednesday and Thursday will see occasional showers and possible mountain snow with highs near 10 degrees Celsius. Friday will cool to below 10 degrees Celsius with more rain forecast. Weekend temps may rise to 13 degrees Celsius on Sunday and bring rain and possible snow at higher altitudes.

Charity Czechs donate record amount in fall food drive

Preliminary results show Czechs donated a record 624 tons of food and hygiene products during the fall food collection this past Saturday, according to the Trade and Tourism Association of the Czech Republic. The donated goods could provide over 1 million portions of food. Collection is ongoing in e-shops until Nov. 21, so final totals should exceed 700 tons.

Chairman of the Czech Federation of Food Banks Aleš Slavíček praised the overwhelming public support, saying Czechs proved unwilling to ignore those facing difficult circumstances. Volunteers from over 5,000 charities will distribute donations to people in need nationwide. Food collection is one of the country's largest material aid efforts.

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