Czech Republic coronavirus update, Jan. 8, 2021: Restrictions extended after record-setting week

The current number of infected hit a record high this week; the Czech government has extended the current lockdown measures.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 08.01.2021 08:59 (updated on 08.01.2021)

The Czech Republic saw record coronavirus numbers over the past week and the Czech government responded on Thursday by extending the current lockdown measures.

According to the morning data from the Health Ministry, 14,780 new cases were recorded Thursday, down from 17,723 on Wednesday. 7,323 people are currently hospitalized and 12,800 deaths have been reported.

While the ministry data shows the spread slightly receding, the number of the currently infected has hit a record high of 145,000.

Following a government meeting of the cabinet, the lower house of parliament, Thursday, Czech Health Minister Jan Blatný announced that anti-COVID measures currently in place would be extended until Jan. 22.

The rules, which include a ban on the gathering of more than two people in public places, a 9 p.m. curfew, the closure of services and a number of shops, and distance learning, have been in place in the country since Dec. 27. For the full list of restrictions see here.

On Thursday, the Czech military reviewed the readiness of the reserve field hospital in Prague-Letnany, which would treat COVID patients if standard hospitals run out of capacity. No decision was made to activate reserved beds. "The Prague hospital is not needed for now, but this can change in a few days," Blatný said.

On Friday, the Czech military told CKT that it has sent an additional 200 soldiers to help tackling the coronavirus pandemic in hospitals and social care facilities; 850 soldiers are deployed at 120 places in total.

The government is expected to ask the lower house for an extension of the emergency state again, and Blatný indicated that strict measures would likely be necessary after Jan 22.

The Czech Republic currently remains at the highest, fifth level of alert on the PES anti-epidemic system, staying at 86 points for the third day in a row.

Opposition politicians are pushing the health ministry to more clearly define which government powers will be applied at which PES levels, arguing that the state of emergency is not needed at the lowest levels of the index.

Latest COVID data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Jan 8., 2021)

  • Active cases 144,987
  • New cases 14,780
  • Deaths 12,800
  • Currently hospitalized 7,323
  • Antigen tests performed 981,577
  • Vaccinations reported 19,918

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