Czech Republic has 26 coronavirus cases, halts issue of visas from Iran

The number of people infected with coronavirus has reached 26 in the country as seven tested positive today and the issuing of Czech visas for people from Iran has been suspended

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 08.03.2020 11:32 (updated on 08.03.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, March 7 (CTK) – The number of people infected with coronavirus has reached 26 in the country as seven tested positive today and the issuing of Czech visas for people from Iran has been suspended, Health Minister Adam Vojtech has said.

Two new coronavirus patients were reported in the Czech Republic in the afternoon and five more tonight.

Vojtech said on Twitter that the Czech diplomatic office in Tehran has stopped issuing visas in order to prevent spreading of the new coronavirus. The Health Ministry ordered this step to the diplomatic office.

“They have more than 1,000 new cases a day. We must react to it and protect the Czech Republic against bringing coronavirus from this country,” Vojtech tweeted, referring to Iran.

Earlier today, Vojtech labelled Iran “a ticking bomb.”

The Health Ministry writes on its website that about 5,000 people got infected in Iran and it is advisable to limit the trips from this country until the epidemic gets under control.

Vojtech said the course of the COVID-19 disease was mild in all patients in the Czech Republic.

Most of the cases are connected with Italy, two were infected in Boston, USA, and a married couple got infected in Austria where they were in contact with one of the two who returned from Boston. Most of the patients got infected abroad.

Czechia has already suspended air connection with Italy, China and South Korea, which have been the biggest epicentres of the outbreak until now.

The Health Ministry announced that the duty to stay at home for two weeks after returning from Italy and report it to a doctor applies not only to Czech citizens but also to foreigners who have permanent or temporary residence in the country.

However, the obligatory quarantine newly does not concern truck drivers, drivers of medical services and aircraft pilots.

As of Monday morning, the police and customs officers will be giving leaflets with information about coronavirus in Czech, English and German to people entering the country at ten border crossings.

Transport and Industry Minister Karel Havlicek said on Twitter that the leaflet will be also given to every passenger aboard 35 international trains. People who fly to the country will receive the leaflet, too.

There are eight laboratories in the country that do the testing for coronavirus.

The central crisis staff, which was created for prevention against the spreading of coronavirus, met at the Health Ministry today. Apart from the prime minister and some other ministers, it includes representatives of the National Institute of Public Health, customs officers, police, military and sanitary officers.

Czech authorities also imposed a ban on exports of hand disinfectants and FFP3 class respirators.

Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula told CTK today that the ministry will start distributing respirators among medical workers next week.

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