Czech Republic coronavirus updates, October 24: new daily record with over 15,000 COVID-19 cases

The Czech Republic set a new high in its number of reported COVID-19 cases yesterday as its health minister became embroiled in controversy

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 24.10.2020 11:17 (updated on 24.10.2020)

There were 15,252 new COVID-19 cases reported in the Czech Republic on Friday, according to the latest data published by the Czech Health Ministry this morning.

The daily number of COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic is a new record, topping Wednesday's previous high of 14,968 cases. Nearly 45,000 new cases have been reported over the past three days.

The number of tests performed has also been reaching new highs, with over 45,000 on Wednesday and Thursday; Friday's number will be published later today. Still, nearly a third of the COVID-19 tests have come back positive over recent days.

The Czech Republic remains the most-affected state in the European Union, with about 1149 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 1020 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past fourteen days.

The Czech Republic has also reported 9.2 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days, almost twice as many as the next European country (Romania, with 4.7 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 residents).

There are currently 144,701 known active COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic. Since the start of the epidemic in March, a total of 238,323 cases have been reported.

The number of COVID-19 patients in Czech hospitals has been quickly rising, and now stands at 5,044. Among those, 751 patients are considered to be in serious condition. In the past week alone, the number of COVID-19 patients in Czech hospitals has risen by more than 60%, and the number of patients in serious condition by about 30%.

On Wednesday, Czech Health Minister Roman Prymula stated that hospitals were currently at 80% capacity. A new field hospital with about 500 beds has been set up by the Czech military at Prague's Letňany exhibition grounds, and should be ready to accept patients as of next week.

This week, the daily number of COVID-19-related deaths topped 100 on three separate days. The total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the Czech Republic since March now stands at 1,971.

A wave of new restrictive measures have taken effect over the past two weeks, closing down cultural activities such as cinemas and museums, schools and restaurants, and finally shops and services.

Hotels are prohibited from accepting guests for tourism purposes, and visitors are prohibited from entering the Czech Republic for the purpose of tourism.

The new lockdown measures are essentially the same, perhaps stricter, as the ones introduced in the spring, save for a controversial restriction that banned citizens from leaving the country. The Czech Republic succeeded in curbing the spread of the virus at that time, but the daily number of new cases had never exceeded 400.

Photographs of Czech Health Minister Roman Prymula outside a Prague restaurant, not wearing a face mask, were published yesterday resulting in a scandal that has most likely ended his tenure as the country's health minister.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has called for his resignation, stating that if Prymula did not resign he would dismiss him. Prymula has thus far refused to tender his resignation; Babiš is expected to inaugurate a new health minister new week following approval from Czech President Miloš Zeman.