Czech Republic is not expected to declare a state of emergency in the coming days, says Deputy PM

The Central Crisis Staff will discuss further measures when it convenes on Monday morning

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 20.09.2020 18:30 (updated on 20.09.2020)

Mosnov, North Moravia, Sept 20 (CTK) -- A state of emergency due to the rising number of COVID cases in the Czech Republic is not expected to be declared in the Czech Republic in the coming days, according to Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) who spoke to journalists at NATO Days in Mosnov Sunday.

The first task of the government's Central Crisis Staff, which will convene on Monday, will be to outline the steps to be taken should the pandemic situation development further, said Hamacek, who will head the staff."

"We will clearly define the scenarios. Then there will be a press conference. If we adopt some measures, we will announce them on time so that everybody can get prepared for it," he said.

Hamacek, who is in charge of the Interior Ministry, headed the Central Crisis Staff this past spring. Health Minister Adam Vojtech (for ANO) told Czech Television Sunday that he would not propose at the cabinet meeting on Monday that the state of emergency be declared. He said the cabinet would discuss this possibility and consider the pros and cons.

Vojtech said the situation would become clearer when the number of confirmed infections are determined over the next working days. He recalled that the Prague Municipal Court decreed earlier in the spring that the Health Ministry alone cannot make decisions on stricter anti-coronavirus measures.

Vojtech said earlier on Sunday that a state of emergency would be declared only if the reproduction number, which reflects how many people become infected by a single infected person on average, surpasses 2 in the Czech Republic.

On Monday, that number was 1.59. Epidemiologist Roman Prymula told Prima TV that the number has nearly reached to 1.8.

"I get updated information on mathematical models. The present one shows that we are around 1.6, which is not good, but it is not the worst case scenario," Hamacek said.

He said the state of emergency is declared when standard means are not enough to cope with the situation.

"This is difficult to predict, but experts themselves say the healthcare system will manage hospitalised patients related to the number of infected of up to 120,000," Hamacek said, adding that this might happen in October, but not in September.

"We will do our utmost not to overburden the healthcare system," he added.

Currently, some 23,500 people are infected with COVID-19 in the Czech Republic, 516 of them are in hospital, including 94 in serious condition.