Czech weekend news in brief: top stories for Feb. 7, 2021

Czech PES level at 71, army helicopters transport COVID-19 patients in Karlovy Vary, and more top headlines from this weekend.


Written by ČTK Published on 07.02.2021 09:33:00 (updated on 07.02.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czech COVID-19 risk index remains at 71, R number rises to 1.05

The Czech Republic's PES COVID-19 risk index is at 71 points today. According to the Health Ministry, it has been at this level for four days in a row; data released on Saturday, at two points higher, has since been revised. The reproduction number, the average number of the people infected from one person with COVID-19, slightly rose from 1.04 to 1.05. This means that the epidemic is not slowing down.

The index has been within at the fourth level (61-75 points) of five risk degrees Czech Republic for more than three weeks. However, the current lockdown measures that in the country valid since the beginning of the year correspond to the fifth and strictest level, primarily because of the high number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

Czech health system was not ready for COVID-19 epidemic, says former Health Minister

The Czech healthcare system was not prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic last year, health care providers did not share their data, and it took several months before all of them got linked to one central system,former health minister Adam Vojtěch has told CTK.

"The system was not ready for such an epidemic. We had to link the completely decentralized health care to a central system and put everything together," Vojtěch said in the interview. He said it was a big success that this was achieved last spring. A database showing how many beds are vacant and occupied in Czech hospitals was developed, among other things. "It would have taken years in a normal situation," Vojtěch said, adding that electronic prescriptions were introduced as well.

Army helicopter helps transport COVID-19 patients in Karlovy Vary Region

A military helicopter is aiding in the transport of people suffering from COVID-19 in the Karlovy Vary Region, and it has already transported 11 patients from overburdened hospitals, General Staff spokeswoman Magdalena Dvořáková has told CTK.

Karlovy Vary Region’s Governor Petr Kulhánek had asked the military for their support. The Central Crisis Staff supported his request and the Health Ministry approved it. The military provides the air rescue service from its base in Plzeň.

Czech GPs to contact people in their 80s regarding COVID-19 vaccination

People over the age of 80 who have not yet registered for COVID-19 vaccination will be contacted by their general practitioners, Czech Association of General Practitioners head Petr Šonka told CTK.

Talks between regional governors and Health Ministry officials also dealt with the possible vaccination of these elderly people in the offices of their general practitioners, which some Czech regions have already allowed for. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said general practitioners could not vaccinate yet because there are not enough vaccine doses at the moment.

Czech court closes 40-year-old case of dissident Pavel Wonka

The Trutnov District Court closed the 40-year-old case of late dissident Pavel Wonka on Tuesday and concluded that he had not been guilty of trespassing, for which he had been sentenced in 1981, lawyer Lubomir Muller has told CTK. The court said that the evidence against Wonka had been very weak and that the criminal proceedings had been biased.

Pavel Wonka (1953-1988) is considered the last political prisoner in the communist Czechoslovakia to have died in jail. Before the November 1989 fall of communism, he was persecuted for his opinions and activities and repeatedly ended up in prison, convicted of fictitious crime. News of his death under mysterious circumstances caused indignation across the world, and his funeral was attended by 2,000 people, including dissidents and representatives of eight Western countries.

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