Czech Republic coronavirus updates, Nov. 25: declining cases, more than half a million now infected

More than half a million people in the Czech Republic have been infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in March.

Samantha Tatro

Written by Samantha Tatro
Published on 25.11.2020 08:46 (updated on 25.11.2020)

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has announced his plans to offer multiple days of free, mass testing for residents amid declining COVID-19 cases.

According to the latest data provided by the Czech Health Ministry this morning, the Czech Republic reported 5,854 new cases on Tuesday, the latest in a continuing steady decline of new coronavirus cases in the country.

However, the Czech Republic has been conducting fewer and fewer tests. On Monday, the country conducted 22,355 tests, significantly less of the usual number of tests performed during the week when the country experienced the peak of the second wave. The number of tests performed on Tuesday will be revealed tomorrow.

In light of these numbers, Babiš has announced voluntary, mass COVID-19 antigen tests to have a better understanding of the true number of cases, according to iDnes. The event would last ten days leading up to Christmas.

Since March, the Czech Republic has now reported a total of 502,535 COVID-19 cases, the majority of which were reported in September and October. Of those, there have been 416,832 recoveries, with 78,203 known active cases.

There are currently 5,497 COVID-19 patients in Czech hospitals, with 826 of those in serious condition. Both those numbers have been steadily decreasing as well.

The most-affected localities in the Czech Republic over the past two weeks continues to be Havlíčkův Brod, which has reported about 581 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past week, and Svitavy, with about 487 cases per 100,000 residents in that span.

The Czech Republic is no longer the most affected state in the EU; the country now ranks far below countries like Austria, Luxembourg and Croatia, with about 711 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

However, the Czech Republic still continues to have one of the highest death rates in Europe in COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 people at 21.5.

Starting today, high schools and universities can now start reopening on a limited scale for students. Some final year students and children from secondary vocational schools can return to class, where practical instruction for groups of up to 20 people will resume.

In addition, practical training for students in the final years of university will resume as well with similar restrictions.

This weekend, the government plans to discuss minor changes to their current anti-epidemic system, PES. Chief hygienist Jarmila Rážová told iDnes that the government will work with the National Sports Agency to prepare a new table that will better regulate sports and other similar sectors.

In an exclusive interview with iDnes, Health Minister Jan Blatný discussed the further plan to loosen lockdown restrictions starting on Monday. He said that the government has been facing pressure to open up shops and services again, but if the situation worsens, he won't be afraid to act.

"The moment we get back into the situation that we will have to return to restrictive measures, we will have to do so," Blatný said.

He added that entrepreneurs and business owners would receive information about the reopening no later than Wednesday, but the most detailed information would come on Sunday.