Czech Republic coronavirus updates, September 23: 2,394 new cases, pubs to close by 10 p.m.

Tuesday's total coronavirus cases marks the Czech Republic's second-highest daily rise in COVID-19 cases

Samantha Tatro

Written by Samantha Tatro
Published on 23.09.2020 08:56 (updated on 23.09.2020)

There were 2,394 new COVID-19 cases reported in the Czech Republic yesterday, the second-highest total ever, according to the latest update from the Czech Health Ministry this morning.

The daily rise represents an increase over the number of new cases reported on Sunday and Monday, but still significantly less than the record-breaking total last week, which topped 3,000 for the first time.

The Czech Republic has now reported 53,158 cases since the start of the epidemic in March. About half of those cases, 26,476, are currently active. There are now more active cases in the country than recoveries.

The total number of cases has more than doubled in September alone, with more than 26,000 new cases reported through the first three weeks of the month.

There have now been 531 COVID-19-related deaths in the Czech Republic since the beginning of the outbreak in March, a number that has been quickly rising. On Monday, 14 people with COVID-19 died, the highest death toll in a single day since April 8 when 15 COVID-19 patients died.

There are currently 581 COVID-19 patients in Czech hospitals, with 115 patients considered to be in serious condition. It's the highest total since the epidemic started.

Prague continues to be the most-affected locality in the Czech Republic, with about 218 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, but numbers are rising in most districts across the country.

Prague-East has reported 202 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past week, followed by Uherské Hradiště (182) and Prague-West (184). Multiple districts in Bohemia have more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents.

The Czech Health Ministry released a new traffic light map this week, which lists Prague as the lone red high-risk area, indicating continued community transmission of COVID-19. A total of 28 other districts are orange medium-risk, indicating the beginning of community transmission, while the rest of the country is green low-risk, indicating the presence of COVID-19 without community transmission.

Epidemiologist and new Health Minister Roman Prymula started off his time as health minister by jumping into action. Starting Thursday, pubs will have to close starting at 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. Outdoor sport events will only be able to have 2,000 people seated in the stands.

Prymula clarified later that the measures would be in effect for 14 days at which point the government would re-evaluate the epidemic situation. The Health Ministry will confirm both measures today, and announce any further restrictions. 

In travel news, Germany will probably put all of the Czech Republic on its list of its risk regions today, and Czech citizens entering Germany will have to either submit a negative test for coronavirus or go into quarantine, according to Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček.

"Given the epidemiological situation and given the fact that the rises in new cases are markedly higher in our country than in the neighboring Germany, it can be assumed that this decision will be made tomorrow [Wednesday]," Petříček said.

Given the situation, Czech officials are working with German officials to negotiate some type of exception for commuters who work in the Czech Republic near the border and commute to work, according to a report in Aktualne.

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In addition, Czech researchers have successfully completed the first phase of vaccine development, according to a report. The prototype tested on rodents is safe and elicited an immune response.

In addition, The Netherlands, which previously had placed just Prague on their list of high-risk areas, has now included the entire Czech Republic. This means if you enter the country from the Czech Republic, you will have to quarantine, even with a negative test.