Czech Republic coronavirus updates, October 30: 13,051 new cases, officials to discuss closed schools

On Wednesday, more than 34 percent of people who got tested for the coronavirus were positive.

Samantha Tatro

Written by Samantha Tatro
Published on 30.10.2020 08:19 (updated on 30.10.2020)

There were 13,051 new COVID-19 cases reported in the Czech Republic on Thursday, according to the latest data published by the Czech Health Ministry this morning.

This is the second weekday in a row that numbers have remained below 15,000 new cases. On Wednesday, more than 34 percent of people who got tested for the coronavirus were positive, according to data. Authorities performed 37,680 tests on Wednesday; Thursday's numbers will be posted later today.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 300,000 people have been infected with COVID-19. There are currently 178,578 known active COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic. Since the start of the epidemic in March, a total of 310,068 cases have been reported.

In light of these numbers, government officials will meet later today to discuss extending the current State of Emergency, set to expire on November 3. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has requested the MEPs extend the State of Emergency another 30 days, until December 3.

"The reason is, of course, the need to extend the crisis measures taken, without which we cannot cope with the current pandemic," Babiš said. The new Minister of Health, Jan Blatný, plans to vote in favor of extending the State of Emergency.

Later today, government officials will also decide on whether or not to keep schools closed going forward, according to a report in iDnes. It's one of the first major decisions for Blatný, sworn in on Thursday. Blatný has said that addressing the closure of schools would be one of his first priorities, and said that any future decisions would be based on "data that will be shared and must be comprehensible to everyone."

"Following the extension of the state of emergency in the Friday government, I am ready to propose the temporary closure of special schools from 2 November. I firmly hope that together we will be able to improve the situation so that not only special schools will reopen as quickly as possible," the Minister of Education, Robert Plaga, told iDnes.

The Czech Republic remains one of the most-affected state in the European Union, and one of the most affected countries in the world, with about 1,481 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 the worst epidemiological situation in Europe; the country has reported about 1,498.7 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past fourteen days.

The Czech Republic has also reported 14.1 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days, almost twice as many as the next European country (Belgium, with 7.6 COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 residents).

The number of COVID-19 patients in Czech hospitals has been quickly rising, and now stands at 6,604. Among those, 1,031 patients are considered to be in serious condition.

On Wednesday, a new round of restrictions went into place across the Czech Republic, instituting a curfew and placing further restrictions on shops and farmers markets.