Czech PES score rises to 64 Sunday as country faces move to stricter risk level

A sustained score above 60 over the next days could lead the Czech Republic to again adopt stricter measures


Written by ČTK Published on 06.12.2020 14:18:00 (updated on 06.12.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Republic's PES anti-epidemic index score has risen by seven points to 64 on Sunday. The score corresponds to the stricter fourth level of anti-COVID-19 measures, above the current third level in effect from Thursday.

The new score was caused by a rise in the reproduction number (R number) to above 1.0 and a high percentage of positive cases among tests conducted, the Health Ministry announced this afternoon.

The Health Ministry released the updated data later than usual today due to a collapse in its network. In doing so, it corrected initial reports published this morning that referenced a PES score of 59.

The R number, which is the average number of people a single COVID-19-positive person infects, is now 1.02.

Previously, the PES score had remained at 57 for 13 days, allowing the country to transition from the fourth to the third risk level. On Thursday, based on a government decision, all retail shops, restaurants and services were allowed to open in a limited regime, and other restrictions were also relaxed.

However, Health Minister Jan Blatný called the current situation fragile and did not rule out that the measures would be tightened again. A sustained PES score over 60 could lead to the fourth risk level and corresponding measures coming back into effect.

If the PES score moves to a lower or higher risk level, the measures do not change automatically. A lower level must be maintained for seven consecutive days for the measures to be relaxed, while a higher level must be reported for three consecutive days for measures to be tightened.

The share of positive cases among the daily number of tests conducted has been about 25% over the past few days.

"The rise in the risk index from 57 to the current 64 points was due to two factors: an increase in the relative share of positive cases, and also mainly due to the rise in the reproduction number to more than 1.0," the Czech Institute of Health Information and Statistics (UZIS) said today.

After the network collapse this morning, the Health Ministry also updated the Saturday number of the new infections to 3,308, 641 more than a week ago. The Saturday rise is the lowest this week, but the number of tests usually drops on weekends and holidays.

There are currently over 60,000 active COVID-19 cases in the country, 4,436 of whom are being hospitalized, according to the latest data from today.

The total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the country has now reached 8,838.

The five-degree PES system assesses the Czech Republic's COVID-19 epidemic development based on four criteria: the reproduction number, the percentage of the infected among those tested over the past seven days, and the number of infections per 100,000 inhabitants in general and among the senior population.

Anti-coronavirus measures are relaxed or tightened accordingly.

On Saturday, the Czech Health Ministry initially reported a rise in the risk score to 59, but modified the data later after additional test results from Thursday were included in the calculation. That lowered the percentage of positive cases, so the index instead remained at 57.

To prevent such late corrections, the PES score has now been set to be updated at 6:30 a.m. every day instead of the previous time of midnight.

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