Czech PES score rises to 69 on Saturday as tightened measures loom

Health Minister Jan Blatný will recommend raising the PES level to 4 on Monday, which would result in the closure of restaurants and other measures

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 12.12.2020 11:32 (updated on 12.12.2020)

The Czech Republic's anti-epidemic PES index score rose by five points to 69 on Saturday, which is within the fourth level of COVID-19 risk measures, according to data released by the Health Ministry this morning.

The rise was largely caused by an increase in the reproduction number (R number) to 1.22.

The PES score has been within the fourth risk level, from 61 to 75 points, since Sunday. However, current restrictions in the Czech Republic correspond to the third level.

Czech Health Minister Jan Blatny (for ANO) said on Friday that he would propose to the government that the country move to the fourth risk level on Monday. Should the government agree, the current anti-epidemic measures would be tightened, most likely during the second half of next week.

The PES system assesses the coronavirus epidemic development on the scale from 0 to 100 points based on four criteria: the number of COVID-19 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in general and among the senior population; the percentage of infections among those tested; and the reproduction number, which is the average number of people infected by one COVID-19-positive person.

The reproduction number dropped to 0.8 at the end of November, but it has been gradually rising since then. Last week it was at 1.0; on Thursday it reached 1.15, and now it is 1.22.

The daily number of new COVID-19 cases has also been rising in recent days. The Czech Republic reported 6,202 COVID-19 cases on Friday, about 1,500 more than a week ago and about 300 more than on Thursday.

On Friday, 4,390 infected people were being treated in Czech hospitals, and 563 of them were in serious condition. The total number of COVID-19-related deaths rose by 109 yesterday, to a total of 9,450.

Institute of Health Information and Statistics (UZIS) head Ladislav Dušek said on Friday that if the reproduction number was higher than 1.2, the epidemic would unavoidably escalate. He predicted that another 200,000 people would get infected by the end of the year.

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Czech laboratories have reported 52,000 COVID-19 infections so far this month. On Friday, they carried out 25,883 tests for COVID-19 and 24 percent of those tested were positive. For the fourth day in a row, more than one fifth of those tested were positive for COVID-19.

Since March, 575,422 people have tested positive in the country and about 503,000 of them have recovered. There are currently about 63,000 known active COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic.

Out of the country's 76 districts, the most affected over the past week have been Havlíčkův Brod and Chrudim, both in East Bohemia, with 519 and 465 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days, respectively.

The PES risk index score is highest in the Hradec Králové, Pardubice and Zlín regions, at 79 points each, which corresponds with the fifth and highest risk level. The PES score is lowest in Prague, at 51 points, which corresponds to the third level.