Czech health minister: Masks on Czech transit could end in early April

A regularly updated article with all the latest developments related to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Czech Republic.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 21.03.2022 09:06:00 (updated on 27.03.2022) Reading time: 8 minutes

This is a weekly overview of the latest coronavirus news for Prague and the Czech Republic. Here you'll find important developments, organized by date, and updated daily by Expats.cz as well as a live data stream taken from the Ministry of Health. A regularly updated list of restrictions can be found here.

For a more detailed breakdown of Covid hospitalization, vaccination, and mortality data for the Czech Republic, see CovData.cz.

Latest COVID Statistics

Confirmed cases on 05.07.2022: +538

Active cases: 7 048

Currently hospitalized: 213

Tests yesterday: 1 228

Vaccinations yesterday: 28

Confirmed cases total: 3 937 410

Recovered total: 3 890 038

Vaccinated total: 6 965 760

Tests total: 21 932 423

Deaths total: 40 324

COVID 19 - New cases for last
Data valid as of 17:28:01 06.07.2022
Source: https://onemocneni-aktualne.mzcr.cz

March 27

Czech Republic sees 3,500 new Covid cases Saturday

The Czech Republic reported 3,518 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, about 25 percent less than the previous Saturday, according to the latest statistics shared by the Czech Health Ministry. The number of suspected reinfections also fell yesterday, down about 100 cases week-on-week to 647 cases.

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The number of patients with Covid in Czech hospitals continues to steadily decline, and is now 1,677 patients compared to more than 2,000 a week ago. A total of 173 of those patients are in intensive care units.

Incidence rates are also on the declines, and the Czech Republic's incidence rate now stands at 466 cases per 100,000 people, down from around 500 cases per 100,000 people last weekend. The reproduction number, indicating how many people one Covid-positive person infects, now stands at .93.

March 26

Number of week-on-week Covid cases continues slight decline

The Czech Republic reported 7,630 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, 1,083 fewer than a week ago, according to the latest data released by the Health Ministry this morning. The number of tests performed also declined, and the rate of positive cases remains at around 30 percent.

The number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals hit a new two-month low at 1,958 on Friday. Of those patients, 100 are in serious condition, the fewest since last October. Compared to last Friday, the total number of Covid patients in hospitals has fallen by 280.

The Czech Republic's incidence rate is currently 478 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days, the lowest it has been since January 11. Prague currently has the highest incidence rate at 605 cases per 100,000 people. In contrast, Karlovy Vary has the lowest incidence rate at 346 cases per 100,000 people.

March 25

Hospitalizations lowest since Jan. 25

There were 7,174 new confirmed Covid cases on Thursday, compared to 8,155 a week ago. It is the lowest number on a workday since Jan. 7. The number of suspected reinfections dropped by almost 150 week-on-week to 1,339. On Thursday, hospitals had 1,945 coronavirus patients with 103 in serious, compared to 2,277 patients and 144 serious cases a week earlier. It is the fewest patients since Jan. 25 and the fewest serious cases since October 2021.

The reproduction number R is at 0.96. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 over seven days fell to 489, the lowest since Jan. 12. It was 498 a day earlier. In Prague, where the pandemic is worst, the R number is 1.03 and the incidence rate is 614. The best situation is in the Karlovy Vary with an incidence rate of 345.

Válek: Masks on transit could end by mid April

People could use public transit without respirators as of the middle of April, Minister of Health Vlastimil Válek told news server iDnes.cz, "If the temperature and sub-mutations that appeared would not affect the situation, then from April, I would dare to eliminate face coverings in public transport in the first or second week," Válek said. Experts will decide next week and he will inform the government. Válek added that he is concerned about new Covid mutations that can spread rapidly, and he is monitoring the situation. Respirators would still be required in medical facilities and social institutions.  

March 24, 2022

Fewest serious cases since mid-October

There were 8,475 new Covid cases on Wednesday, compared to 8,551 a week ago. It is the lowest Wednesday figure since Jan. 5. There are 1,545 suspected reinfections, about 100 fewer than Wednesday. The first three days of this week all showed a week-on-week decrease in new Covid cases. Hospitals have 2,018 Covid patients with 104 serious cases, compared to 2,359 patients and 142 serious cases a week ago. A lower weekday number of patients occurred on Jan. 25, while the number of serious cases is the lowest since Oct. 17, 2021.

Pandemic still rising slightly in Prague

The reproduction number R is at 0.99 for the whole country, meaning the pandemic is slightly receding. The number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days fell to 498 from 499 a day earlier. Prague has the highest incidence rate, at 622, up from 616 a day earlier. The R number for Prague is 1.08. The Plzeň region has the second-highest incidence, at 564, down from 572 a day earlier. The lowest is in the Karlovy Vary region at 353, up from 343 a day earlier.

Válek to propose revaccination plan

During the Czech Presidency of the European Union, Health Minister Vlastimil Válek wants to propose a future revaccination plan against Covid for EU members states. According to Válek, the current wave of the coronavirus epidemic cannot be expected to be the last. The Czech Republic will hold the EU presidency in the second half of 2022.

March 23, 2022

Pandemic shows signs of slowing again

There were 10,498 new Covid cases on Tuesday, compared to 10,715 a week ago. Laboratories also detected 1,971 suspected reinfections, more or less the same number as a week ago. Hospitals treated 2,040 Covid patients, including 119 in serious condition. Last week there were 2,425 patents and 139 serious cases. The reproduction number R is at 0.99, meaning the pandemic is slightly receding. The number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days fell to 499 from 501 a day earlier. The incidence continues to be the highest in Prague, at 616, and the lowest in Karlovy Vary region, at 389.

Average daily death toll dropping

Since the start of the epidemic in March 2020, some 3.76 million people have become infected with Covid and 39,441 of them have died. In February, the average daily number of coronavirus victims was 51, in March it is 29. The preliminary death toll for Tuesday was six, though that is likely to be revised. For the past even days, the toll is 155 and for March so far it is 643.

Vaccination hits new record low

The interest in vaccination against a serious course of the Covid has been falling, with just 2,642 vaccine doses administered on Tuesday, which is the lowest number on a working day this year. Of those, 2,086 were booster shots and 360 competed vaccination. Since the protein-based Nuvaxovid vaccine from Novavax was introduced in early March, just 2,102 doses have been given out. The government hoped the vaccine would appeal to those who were concerned about the more modern mRNA vaccines. This year, the record for vaccine doses on a single day is 111,846 on Jan. 7.

March 22, 2022

Prague again has highest incidence number

There were 10,423 new Covid cases on Monday, compared to 10,820 a week ago. Tests also revealed 2,060 suspected reinfections, about the same as a week ago. The number of hospitalized people is at 2,057 with 114 serious cases, up slightly from the day before but fewer than last week, when there were 2,487 patients and 134 serious cases. The reproduction number R is at 1.0, meaning the pandemic is neither spreading nor slowing. The number of new cases per 100,000 people over seven days is 501, down from 505 a day earlier. The highest incidence rate is now in Prague, at 597, and the lowest continues to be in the Karlovy Vary region, at 351. Plzeň, which had the highest rate, is now second qt 584.

Czechia saw the most deaths since WWII in 2021

The Czech Republic saw the highest number of deaths since World War II last year, with139,900, It was 10,600 more than in 2020, the first year of the coronavirus epidemic, and the deepest population natural decline in its history since 1918, the data the Czech Statistical Office (CSÚ) said. The number of deaths was 28,100 higher than that of births in 2021. The population of the Czech Republic rose by 21,900 to 10.52 million in 2021 thanks to immigration. The number of deaths rose by one-quarter when compared to the average for 2015 to 2019. The highest mortality was recorded in March and January 2021, two months when the spread of Covid was at its highest that year. According to figures from the Czech Health Ministry, over 24,000 deaths were related to Covid in 2021.

ÚZIS: Pandemic ‘unstable,’ could start growing again

Even though the number of new cases of coronavirus infection is stagnating, the epidemic situation is unstable. Ladislav Dušek, director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS), said that with regard to developments in neighboring Austria or Germany, it was not possible to rule out a return to further growth of the epidemic. The decline has stopped and the number of new cases is around 500 per 100,000 inhabitants per week. “Given the stagnation, the population still maintains a high prevalence of active diseases, there is still a high probability of community spread even during normal daily activities,” Dušek said. He added that the growth in the spread of Covid in Germany and Austria was due to the BA.2 and BA.3 variants of Omicron.  

March 21, 2022

Fewest new Covid cases since the beginning of the year

There were 2,275 confirmed Covid cases on Sunday, compared to 2,747 a week ago. It was the fewest on a single day since Jan. 2. Suspected recurrent infections were at 370, compared to 431 a week earlier. In the four days of last week, the number of new cases rose week-on-week but it fell in three. Hospitalizations are at the lowest number in the past eight weeks. The number of hospitalized patients was 1,794, with 107 in serious condition. A week earlier there were 2,168 patients and 130 serious cases. The reproduction number R is at 0.99, meaning the pandemic is slightly receding again. New cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days fell to 505 from 509 a day earlier. The highest is in the Plzeň region at 620. Prague is second at 590. The Karlovy Vary region is lowest at 363.

Back to pushing buttons on Prague public transit

People will once again have to push buttons to open doors on Prague’s public transit vehicles, as operations are returning to normal. The transit system had been opening doors automatically at all stops since Jan. 17. People will also have to signal for the on-demand (na znamení) stops. The doors had been opening automatically so people would not have to risk coming into contact with coronavirus by touching the surface of the buttons. The waiting time between the arrivals of buses, trams, and metro trains will also be shortened back to normal. The operation of bus lines to Václav Havel Airport Prague remains limited. People are still required to wear face coverings in all public transit areas.

Interest in vaccination continues to drop

People's interest in vaccinating against the severe course Covid continues to weaken. On Sunday, medics gave 184 doses of the vaccine, the second-lowest since the beginning of the year. Fewer doses were administered only on Jan. 1. Some 158 people received booster doses and only 9 completed the initial vaccination. Since the Nuvaxovid vaccine from Novavax was introduced at the start of March, only 1,981 doses had been given out. The government ordered 130,000 doses in the hope that the protein-based vaccine would appeal to people who were skeptical of mRNA-based vaccines.

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