Czech weekend news in brief: top stories for June 20, 2021

Covid-19 cases continue to decline though R number rises, three dead after chemical leak in Plzeň, and more top headlines from this weekend.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 20.06.2021 09:42 (updated on 20.06.2021)

Czech Republic reports 63 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, R number rises slightly

The Czech Republic's 63 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday are the lowest Saturday figure since July 11, 2020 and ten less than a week ago, according to new data posted by the Health Ministry this morning. However, the number of tests performed also decreased week-on-week, while the R (reproduction) number rose from 0.66 on Saturday to 0.72 today. The lower the R number, the slower the spread of infection.

The number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals continues to fall. There are 73 of them currently, including 11 in serious condition. At a population of 10.7 million, the Czech Republic has reported nine new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past week. This number has stood at nine for a few days in a row.

Three dead after dangerous chemical leak in Plzeň

A leak of toxic chemical substances at an industrial compound in Plzeň has now claimed three lives. Two deaths were reported on Friday, and one of two seriously injured men died in the Plzeň teaching hospital on Saturday, the hospital's Libuše Kufnerová has told CTK. She said the condition of the other injured man has improved and he is now in stable condition.

Local police have launched criminal proceedings on suspicion of a public safety threat by neglect, their spokeswoman Michaela Raindlová said. The dangerous chemicals, which included sulfur, leaked in large concentration from the premises of a firm that deals with the processing of liquid industrial sludge. Seven people came into contact with the chemicals; three of them left the building on their own, while the other four, all men aged from 40 to 60, had to be retrieved by rescuers.

Czech soldiers in Mali drive into explosive, no injuries reported

A Czech military vehicle in Mali drove into an explosive this morning, the Czech military has written on Twitter, adding that it would not elaborate. All soldiers are safe, with no injuries reported. "On Saturday, June 19, a Czech military vehicle drove into an explosive while fulfilling an operation within the Takuba mission. All soldiers are in order, without injuries. With regard to the type of the mission, we will not release more information," the military wrote.

AGENCY PROPERTIES

Barkhane, an extensive French mission focused on fighting Islamic radicals, has been operating in Mali since 2014. Part of the mission is the operation Takuba, where the Czech military special forces unit has been located since earlier this year.

Covid-19 reported in 0.18% of those with complete vaccination

The Czech Republic has recorded Covid-19 cases in 3,792 of the 2.097 million people with complete vaccination (0.18 percent), according to Health Information and Statistics (UZIS) data valid as of June 14. Roughly half of the cases were detected less than two weeks after the second dose of the vaccine was administered.

Symptoms of Covid-19 appeared only in about 800 of these cases, with 530 of them needing hospitalization due to a mild course of the disease and 269 due to a serious course. Last week, UZIS director Ladislav Dušek said these cases are often very old people or those with another serious disease who fail to create sufficient protection from the vaccination due to a weakened system.

300-year-old organ in Manětín now operating after 10-year-reconstruction

A Baroque organ in Manětín's Church of St. Barbara played on Friday for the first time in ten years after a lengthy reconstruction, according to Marek Roštík, a representative of a civic group that initiated the salvation of the organ in the early 2010s. He added that other organs have been gradually adapted in the past to meet current trends, while Manětín's organ has kept its original sound unchanged for the past 300 years.

"It is a rarity, offering the fully Baroque sound of its period of origin. Experts rank it among the top ten organs in the Czech Republic," Roštík told CTK. He added that the reconstruction costs exceeded three million crowns and were partly covered by his group together with the Plzeň Region and the Czech Ministry of Culture.

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