Czech weekend news in brief: top stories for April 11, 2021

Number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients falls to lowest this year, female gorilla dies in Prague Zoo, and more headlines from this weekend

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 11.04.2021 09:36 (updated on 11.04.2021)

Number of Covid-19 patients in Czech hospitals falls to 5,271, R number rises to 0.9

The Czech Republic reported 2,198 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, which is 40 percent more than a week ago, according to data released by the Health Ministry today. The reproduction number has increased from 0.76 to 0.90. As of Saturday, there are 5,271 coronavirus patients being treated in Czech hospitals, which is the lowest number this year; 1,220 of these patients are in serious condition.

Health workers administered 27,979 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine on Saturday, which is the highest daily number on a weekend so far. In total, 2,068,878 vaccine doses have been administered in the country since December 27, when the vaccination began.

Five million Czechs counted in first two weeks of census

About 2.5 million housing and population census forms have been submitted online during the first two weeks of the census, according to Czech Statistical Office (CSU) press release. Roughly five million people have been counted so far. The census started on March 27 and will end on May 11.

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The CSU received about 135,000 forms online per day this week. Most forms are sent on days when people do not work, and in the evenings. "Most people submitted the forms during weekends and Easter holidays. On the first Sunday after the launch of the census (March 28), more than half a million people filled in the form. The lowest number of forms has been recorded on Friday, April 9," CSU deputy director Eva Krumpova said.

Female gorilla Bikira dies in Prague zoo

Bikira, a fifteen year-old female gorilla, died in Prague zoo on Friday. She lost more than three litres of blood after her abdominal wall was torn, probably due to an injury, and the zoo announced on its website today. "Despite a quick reason of all the participants and their maximum effort, Bikira passed away three hours after she was operated on, even though she was in intensive care on mechanical ventilation with support of blood circulation," the zoo said.

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The carers noticed on Thursday that Bikira had problems. She was more tired, ate only half of her food, and did not move her left elbow. Since video recordings did not show that there was a scuffle or any other incident in the gorilla pavilion, it seemed probable that her problems could be related to Covid-19, and so treatment of it started. In March, it was discovered that Bikira and another gorilla, Kamba, had contracted Covid-19.

European Broadcasting Union concerned about developments in Czech TV

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has warned about increasing political pressure on public broadcaster Czech Television (CT), saying this is especially alarming ahead of the October general election. "Across Europe, an increasing number of governments are trying to silence opposition voices by restricting freedom of the press and exerting undue influence on public service media. We are concerned that the shortlist for the next Council election on April 13 features only candidates with political affiliations to the ruling party." EBU President Delphine Ernotte Cunci and Director General Noel Curran said in a statement sent to CTK.

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"We are alarmed by the increasing politicization of Czech Television’s governing body and alignment around one political option. We urge the Czech parliament to ensure independence of the broadcaster so it can remain a model for public broadcasting in the Czech Republic and more broadly in Europe," the EBU says.

Czech authorities removed 2,903 children from their families in 2020

State authorities removed 2,903 children from their families in the Czech Republic last year, which is a markedly lower number than in 2019 when 3,579 children were removed, according to a Ministry of Labor report on child protection. In most cases, a court made the decision because of child neglect.

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The number of children removed from their home had also declined over the previous three years, but the year-on-year decrease was never higher than 100. In 2016, 3,841 children were removed from their home. The considerably lower number of cases may be caused by the coronavirus epidemic. Offices and courts limited their activities during the long state of emergency, schools were closed, and social services could not operate. People also visited doctors less often than in other years.