Czech Republic weekly coronavirus news for October 26–31, 2021

A regularly updated article with all the latest developments related to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Czech Republic.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 26.10.2021 10:43 (updated on 29.10.2021) Reading time: 9 minutes

This is a weekly overview of the latest coronavirus news for Prague and the Czech Republic. Here you'll find important developments, organized by date, and updated daily by Expats.cz as well as a live data stream taken from the Ministry of Health. A regularly updated list of restrictions can be found here.

Latest COVID Statistics

Confirmed cases on 01.12.2021: +21 126

Active cases: 292 975

Currently hospitalized: 6 561

Tests yesterday: 90 588

Vaccinations yesterday: 83 765

Confirmed cases total: 2 193 289

Recovered total: 1 866 997

Vaccinated total: 6 669 174

Tests total: 13 800 895

Deaths total: 33 317

COVID 19 - New cases for last
Data valid as of 04:55:36 02.12.2021
Source: https://onemocneni-aktualne.mzcr.cz

October 29, 2021

OVERVIEW Most new cases on a day off since March

On Thursday, there were 4,348 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Czech Republic, the highest holiday increase since March and more than last Thursday's 3,640 cases. Of the 1,304 people in hospitals, 172 were in severe condition compared to 821 hospitalized with 122 in serious condition last week. Eight deaths were reported for Thursday, bringing the October toll to 224. There are 276 newly infected people per 100,000 population in the last seven days, an increase of six since Thursday. With 430 cases per 100,000 in 14 days, the Czech Republic is now the 13th least affected EU country (Latvia is the worst with 1,630 cases).

TRAVEL British and Armenian Covid passports to be recognized

As of today, The European Union will now recognize Covid passports issued by Britain and Armenia. The European Commission on Thursday decided that Covid-19 certificates issued by the United Kingdom and Armenia are equivalent to the EU Digital Covid Certificate. As a result, the two countries will be connected to the EU's system, and the Covid certificates they issue will be accepted in the EU, including in the Czech Republic, under the same conditions as the EU Digital COVID Certificate. At the same time, the two countries agreed to accept the EU Digital COVID Certificate for travel from the EU to their countries.

TESTS Covid tests to remain free for nursing home staff

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said coronavirus tests will continue to be for free for the unvaccinated staff and clients of homes for the elderly and similar social care facilities. These clients and staff will continue to regularly undergo the tests. As of next week, antigen and PCR tests will otherwise not be paid for most unvaccinated persons anymore. Coronavirus spread has been under control in social care facilities, with few infected because most seniors in such facilities have been vaccinated.

POLITICS Incoming Czech government appoints a new pandemic team

The SPOLU coalition has created a 28 member expert group for dealing with the Covid-19 epidemic. The National Institute for Coping with the Pandemic is headed by the chairman of the Czech Vaccinological Society, Roman Chlíbek, the coalition said in a press release. The group consists of members of the Interdisciplinary Group on Epidemic Situations (MeSES), general practitioners, and representatives of state institutions. The team should be available to the current and future governments to discuss the development of the pandemic

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October 28, 2021

Overview Death rate reaches double-digit numbers again

There were another 5,824 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, about 2,550 more than a week ago, and now there are almost 1,300 patients in hospitals, the greatest number since May 17, according to the data of the Czech Health Ministry released today. The number of hospitalized in a serious condition fell slightly fell to 167. In the past seven days, there were 270 infected per 100,000 population. Since Wednesday, the incidence rate has increased by 24. Since the beginning of the epidemic, there have been 30,689 coronavirus-related deaths reaching double-digit numbers again in recent days.

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VACCINES Czech insurance company to call unvaccinated people

The General Health Insurance Company (VZP) will send out letters with information on coronavirus vaccination in a bid to get inoculated to people aged over 65 who have as of yet not been vaccinated against Covid-19, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) told the press on Wednesday. PM Babis said there are about 331,000 unvaccinated people aged over 65 in the Czech Republic.

WORK Council rejects mandatory-vaccine proposal

The Tripartite Council comprised of representatives of the outgoing Czech government, employers, and trade unions, refused all proposed restrictions targeting employees who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19, the council said in a tweet this week.

It wrote that outgoing PM Andrej Babiš expressed his disapproval of the mandatory vaccination. Trade unions and business owners criticized the suggested measure.

October 27, 2021

OVERVIEW Number of new cases highest since early April

On Tuesday, there were 6,274 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Czech Republic, almost twice as many as a week ago, when there were 3,247. For the first time since April 7, the daily number of new infections has exceeded 6,000. Hospitalizations jumped to 1,146 with 166 patients are in severe condition, compared to 713 hospitalized with 109 in serious condition a week ago. There are 246 infected per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days, the incidence number has increased by 29 since Tuesday, according to data from the Health Ministry.

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VACCINATION Vojtěch says it is an epidemic of the unvaccinated

Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said the Covid-19 epidemic in the Czech Republic has become an epidemic of the unvaccinated. According to data on the spread of the disease in October, the unvaccinated account for some 74 percent are positive and 63 percent are hospitalized. If vaccination coverage increased, it would be possible to repeal "maybe tomorrow" all anti-epidemic measures, the minister said at a press conference yesterday. According to Vojtěch, there are younger people in hospitals than before.

Currently, 66 percent of people over the age of 12 in the Czech Republic have a vaccine for whom it is currently intended. It is 56.6 percent of the total population and 68 percent among adults. According to Vojtěch, the Czech Republic is below the EU average. 

MEASURES Compliance inspections planned for next week

Hygienists and police officers are preparing extensive inspections of compliance with measures against the spread of Covid-19 next week. There will be one to two control groups in the field in each district, hygienist Pavla Svrčinová told the press yesterday. The group will again consist of a hygienist and a police officer. The ministry has previously stated that inspections should take place on Nov. 4 and 6. According to Svrčinová, hygienists and police officers will now do 1,200 to 1,500 checks a week.

"We go in pairs because unfortunately our workers are attacked in a very indiscriminate way by clients and facility operators," said the hygienist. The Hygiene Service has less than 1,000 employees dedicated to this activity.

SCHOOLS Approximately 89,000 pupils took part in the summer tutoring camps

Some 89,328 primary school pupils took part in the summer tutoring camps in July and August. There were 5,169 camps. Their program focused mainly on sports, which students could not devote much time to at the time of distance learning. The program also often included tutoring of material, which the participants discussed at a distance school at school. Education Ministry spokeswoman Aneta Lednová said. The Ministry of Education set aside approximately CZK 260 million for the organization of summer camps before the holidays.  

October 26, 2021

OVERVIEW Over 1,000 people hospitalized with Covid

Monday saw the most cases since April and about two-thirds more than a week ago. For the first time since May, over 1,000 are hospitalized. The number of deaths is also growing significantly with 56 deaths in the past five days.

The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 over the past seven days reached 217, up from 201 a day earlier. The reproduction number R is at 1.62. In Prague, the incidence number is 256. The worst situation is currently in the Moravian-Silesian region, with an incidence number of 327.

QUARANTINE Self-isolation duty lifted

Unvaccinated travelers are no longer required to self-isolate upon arrival to the Czech Republic from Covid-risk states, but the obligation to test remains in force, as does the requirement to wear a respirator pending the test result, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said yesterday.

The Health Ministry changed the measure in reaction to the Prague Municipal Court verdict that canceled the requirement for self-isolation on arrival from high-risk red and very high-risk dark-red countries on the Czech traveler's map as of Nov. 1.

Up until now, people arriving from the red and dark-red countries have had to self-isolate pending the result of a PCR test, which they could undergo on the fifth day after the arrival at the earliest and on the 14th day at the latest.

Arrival conditions do not apply to people who completed their vaccination at least two weeks ago or who underwent Covid-19 in the past six months.

TRAVEL Arrival form requirement remains valid

The duty for travelers to fill in an arrival form remains valid. The court canceled it as well, as of Oct. 27, arguing that the duty infringes upon the citizens' right to enter the Czech Republic. Nevertheless, the Health Ministry will incorporate a thorough explanation in the provision to secure its justification, Vojtěch said.

The arrival form must be filled in by all people over 6 years of age on return from any country if they stayed abroad for over 12 hours in the past 14 days.

Schools Testing resumes in some schools

According to current data on the spread of Covid-19, November testing in schools will cover eight districts. The situation is deteriorating in the Olomouc and Moravian-Silesian regions, Central Crisis Staff chairman Jan Hamáček (CSSD) told reporters after yesterday’s meeting. According to Health Minister Vojtěch, the decision to test will be based on data from the previous Sunday as it takes a week to prepare for testing. Additional districts may join the second round of testing on November 8 if need be.

Last week, the Ministries of Health and Education agreed that comprehensive testing would take place in schools on Nov. 1 and 8. It should apply to districts where the weekly increase in new cases is higher than 300 per 100,000 inhabitants.

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According to data from the Ministry of Health, the districts meeting that criteria are Ostrava-město, České Budějovice, Prostějov, Brno-venkov, Prachatice, Přerov, Opava, Karviná, Šumperk, and Olomouc. Districts approaching the incidence rate for testing are Brno-město, Plzeň-město, Praha-východ, Frýdek-Místek, Nový Jičín, and Kolín.

VACCINES Vaccination points to extend opening hours

Covid vaccination centers will extend their opening hours in reaction to the growing interest of Czechs in getting inoculated. Most people are coming for the first dose or the third booster dose, Vojtěch said.

Some 600,000 people eligible for the third dose have already received a text message with the invitation to register for the third jab. Almost 135,000 people have had a third shot.

Currently, 407 vaccination points are in operation in the Czech Republic. On Friday, over 30,000 vaccine doses were administered, double the figure from the previous Friday.

"We agreed that we would extend the opening hours of the vaccination centers in hospitals. Compared to eight hours now, centers will be in operation between 12-16 hours," Vojtěch said.

Most inoculation centers operate in hospitals, but general practitioners will take part in the vaccination, too.

Some walk-in vaccination points outside hospitals remain in service, too. Among them, there is one at the Prague main railway station Hlavní nádraží as well as another in the Westfield-Chodov shopping mall. The interest is comparable to the situation in early July and people are even willing to wait at the vaccination points for two hours.

VACCINES EMA approves Moderna for booster shot

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved the booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine Spikevax from Moderna in people aged 18 years and above. Data shows that a third dose of Spikevax given six to eight months after the second dose led to a rise in antibody levels. The booster dose consists of half the dose used for the primary vaccination schedule. The current data shows the side effects after the booster are similar to what occurs after the second dose.  


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