Czech Republic coronavirus updates, Dec. 3: cases hold steady, government wants to extend state of emergency

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said that he is not satisfied with the current development of the coronavirus pandemic.

Samantha Tatro

Written by Samantha Tatro
Published on 03.12.2020 08:21 (updated on 03.12.2020)

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic continues to hold steady, but nevertheless, the Czech cabinet will ask the Chamber of Deputies to extend the state of national emergency by another 30 days.

The news comes as the country reported 4,563 new cases on Wednesday, one of the highest daily increases in the past seven days. On Tuesday, the country reported 5,180 new cases.

However, the Czech Republic continues to conduct fewer and fewer tests, especially on weekends. On Tuesday, the country it conducted 21,926 tests, fewer tests than the previous week and far less than the usual number of tests performed during the weeks when the country experienced the peak of the second wave. The number of tests performed on Wednesday will be revealed tomorrow.

Today, a number of restrictions will be loosened as the Czech Republic moves from the fourth to the third PES level. Restaurants, shops, and services will reopen after several weeks, and the night curfew will be lifted. See a full list of changes here.

However, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš urged people to exercise caution.

"Unfortunately, the virus is still here and I feel far from pleased with the Tuesday number [of 5,176 new infections]," Babiš said.

The current state of emergency, declared by the cabinet after a resurgence of the coronavirus in early October, was extended in November with parliament's consent, is still in force until Dec. 12. Officials plan to vote on an extension soon.

Since March, the Czech Republic has reported a total of 533,042 COVID-19 cases, the majority of which were reported in September and October. Of those, there have been 461,599 recoveries, with 62,928 known active cases.

The number of patients in hospitals has been steadily decreasing as well. There are currently 4,667 COVID-19 patients in Czech hospitals, with 611 of those in serious condition.

The most-affected region in the Czech Republic over the past two weeks by far continues to be Havlíčkův Brod, which has reported about 531 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past week.

The Czech Republic is no longer the most affected state in the EU; the country now ranks far below countries like Austria, Poland and Croatia, with about 551 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Luxembourg has the worst COVID-19 situation in the EU right now with more than 1,200 cases per 100,000 in the past 14 days; Croatia is not far behind.

A mobile COVID testing unit which allows companies and groups of people to order tests on demand and get results faster debuted in the Czech capital Tuesday.

The mobile lab, a specially adapted city ambulance, can conduct both sampling and testing for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. Depending on the number of samples taken by the lab at a given site, test results can be available in up to two hours.