Czech Republic coronavirus updates, October 27: 10,273 new cases, curfew and limited shop hours announced

Experts warn we may soon see a shortage of healthcare personnel and hospital beds. More than 1,000 healthcare workers test positive for COVID19 each day.

Samantha Tatro

Written by Samantha Tatro
Published on 27.10.2020 08:51 (updated on 27.10.2020)

There were 10,273 new COVID-19 cases reported in the Czech Republic on Monday, according to the latest data published by the Czech Health Ministry this morning.

The number of new daily cases has now returned to more than 10,000, after a dip on Sunday. More than 75,000 new cases have been reported over the past seven days.

In an effort to curb the spread of the virus, the Czech government announced further measures on Monday night.

The new restrictions limit personal movement and take effect from Wednesday, October 28 and apply until midnight on Tuesday, November 3.

Going out during nighttime hours between 9 pm until 4:59 am is banned with the exception of travel for the purposes of going to work, conducting business activities, or urgent travel.

Retail shops must close between 8 pm to 5 am from Monday to Saturday and close completely on Sundays; pharmacies, gas stations, and airport and railway station shops are an exception.

Officials also ordered everyone to work from home in both public and private companies and institutions, if possible. Health Minister Roman Prymula said work from home cannot be easily ordered for everyone, and the decision needs to be primarily made by the management of the companies.

It is expected that 70 percent of the employees will work from home and the rest will remain at their usual workplace. The government wants work from home to be introduced at state offices and self-rule bodies, Prymula said.

The Czech Republic remains the most-affected state in the European Union, with about 1,323 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 1, 301 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past fourteen days.

The Czech Republic has also reported 11.0 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days, twice as many as the next European country (Belgium, with 5.3 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 residents).

There are currently 162,785 known active COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic. Since the start of the epidemic in March, a total of 268,370 cases have been reported.

The number of COVID-19 patients in Czech hospitals has been quickly rising, and now stands at 5,613. Among those, 828 patients are considered to be in serious condition.

In addition, more than 13,000 healthcare workers are currently infected with COVID-19 in the country, Czech Medical Chamber (CLK) President Milan Kubek told the public Czech Radio Radiozurnal station.

Right now, 2,600 doctors, 6,000 nurses and 4,500 other healthcare workers are infected. More than 1,000 healthcare workers became infected in the past week alone, a fast-rising number. In contrast, in early October, only 600 doctors, 1,000 nurses and 900 other healthcare staff were infected with the virus.

Experts warn that the country may soon see a shortage of medical staff as well as a shortage of beds for COVID-19 patients who need intensive care.

"We do not count the quarantined workers since the healthcare staff in quarantine have been going to work normally for some time already. Roughly 1,000 health workers fall ill with COVID-19 a day," Kubek said.

For this reason, the Czech government agreed to a 90-day stay of 300 military medical staff from the EU and NATO states to help the Czech Republic curb the virus.