Czech Republic coronavirus updates, October 22: new record of nearly 15,000 cases, lockdown measures take effect

Most shops and services throughout the Czech Republic are closed as of this morning as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 22.10.2020 09:19 (updated on 22.10.2020)

The Czech Republic set a new record with 14,968 COVID-19 cases reported on Wednesday, according to the latest data published by the Czech Health Ministry this morning.

The number tops the previous high, set the day before, by more than 3,000 cases.

A record number of tests were also performed on Tuesday, at over 40,000; the number of tests performed on Wednesday will be revealed later today. Around 25-30% of tests have come back positive for COVID-19 over the past week.

There are now 124,000 known active COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic.

According to a new model from the Czech Institute of Health Information and Statistics, 205,000 COVID-19 cases are predicted in the first week of November, and 330,000 during the second week.

Due to the rapid rise in cases, the Czech government has announced a new series of lockdown measures that have taken effect as of this morning, and will run through November 3. The new measures are similar to the ones that were in place in the Czech Republic during the spring.

Free movement of people has been largely restricted, with travel allowed only in certain cases including to go to work, to buy food or essential goods, for medical purposes, to see family members and other necessary trips.

Going outside for fresh air or exercise is still recommended. Group sizes are limited to a maximum of two if not from the same household, and masks must be worn if less than two meters from others.

Hotels have been closed for guests traveling for leisure activities, though they can still accommodate guests traveling for business purposes.

Additionally, most retail stores and services are now closed, with the exception of those that provide essential goods such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and drug stores (see here for a full list).

The number of COVID-19-related deaths has also hit new highs this week, with a record 100 COVID-19-related deaths reported on Monday, 84 on Tuesday, and 69 so far yesterday.

There are currently 4,417 COVID-19 patients in Czech hospitals, with 657 in serious condition.

Czech Health Minister Roman Prymula stated yesterday that Czech hospitals were now at 80% capacity, prompting the urgent implementation of the new measures.

The rate of COVID-19 cases is currently highest in Prostějov (about 882 cases per 100,000 residents over the past week), Zlín (879 cases), Hradec Králové (853 cases), Plzeň (843 cases), and Žďár nad Sázavou (798 cases).

Prague has reported about 563 new COVID-19 cases over the past seven days, including a record-high 1,699 cases yesterday.

The Czech Republic remains the most-affected state in the European Union, with about 976 reported COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The number of cases has also been surging in Belgium, which has reported about 867 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past fourteen days.