Czech weekend news in brief: top stories for June 6, 2021

Lowest Saturday rise in Covid-19 cases since last August, Prague to Split bike challenge begins, and more top headlines from this weekend.


Written by ČTK
Published on 06.06.2021 09:59 (updated on 06.06.2021)

Czech Republic reports 152 new Covid-19 cases, lowest Saturday total since August 1

The Czech Republic 152 newly confirmed Covid-19 infections on Saturday, which is a third fewer than a week ago and the lowest Saturday figure since August 1, 2020, according to data released by the Health Ministry released today. About 1.66 million people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the Czech Republic since March 2020, and 30,159 of them have died. The rate of Covid-19 cases has been gradually falling since this March, when they reached almost 17,000 per day.

The daily number of coronavirus victims has fallen, too. Up to 200 people with Covid-19 died daily in March, while recently there have been only a handful victims per day. The reproduction number, which shows the average number of people infected by a single Covid-19 case, remains below 0.8, indicating the epidemic is slowing down. It was 0.76 on Saturday and rose slightly to 0.79 today. This number has been below 1 since April.

Bike Challenge 2021 from Prague to Split begins

The nine-day Bike Challenge 2021 started in Prague on Saturday. During the challenge, former football player Patrik Berger, former professional cyclist Tomáš Grim and philanthropist and entrepreneur Mike Saran will ride about 1,200 km to the Croatian city of Split on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The Sport2Life foundation organizes the bike event to motivate people to face challenges and point to the importance of physical movement in a post-coronavirus world, especially for children. Saran had the idea of this cycling route after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic last year, when travel was limited. He rode the route on his bike at that time.

For the first leg of the journey in the Czech Republic, other participants in the challenge will include Czech Olympic Commitee head Jiří Kejval, Czech National Bank former governor Zdeněk Tůma, former Alpine ski racer Šárka Strachová, and Aleš Valenta, who won the Olympic competition in freestyle aerials in 2002, as well as dozens of children. Former ice hockey player Patrik Eliáš will take part in some of the journey and ride for three days with the others.

Czech Republic to have government commissioner for Roma affairs in 2022

The post of a government commissioner for the Roma affairs should be introduced by the end of 2022, according to a Roma integration strategy for the 2020s that the Czech government has approved.

"In order to strengthen the participation of Roma in the decision-making process on the national level, the Roma civic society has agreed for a long time that the post of government commissioner for Roma affairs needs to be established," the strategy says. Currently, the Roma agenda is broad and fragmented among several ministries; new steps introduced and the cooperation of offices should be coordinated by a commissioner, it says.

Anti-Semitic threats classified only as misdemeanor despite objections

Czech Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman has failed to have the case of anti-Semitic threats addressed to the Prague Jewish Community reclassified from a misdemeanor to a criminal offense, as the Supreme Court has dismissed his petition for an appellate review, Zeman's office spokesperson Petr Malý has told CTK. "[The court] did not uphold the top attorney's reservations and stated that the threats...could not cause justified apprehension in the Jewish Community, although it labelled the suspect's behavior as hateful and condemnable," Malý said on Friday.

A message full of dirty words, spelling errors, and hate speech was left by a woman through a contact form on the Jewish Community's website in 2018. Among other statements, she branded Jews plague, bedbugs, and parasites. "You are to blame for the Holocaust yourselves," the woman wrote, adding "May Hitler crack down on you," and wishing for Jews to be exterminated or leave Europe for Israel.

Unlawfully sterilized women to be compensated under new bill

Czech women who were unlawfully sterilized from 1966-2012 may have the right to be financially compensated, as the Chamber of Deputies has passed a bill under which they may receive a one-off payment of 300,000 crowns. To become law, the bill still needs to be supported by the Senate, which is the other house of Czech parliament, and signed by the President.

Pirate MP Olga Richterová said it had been proven 15 years ago that numerous women had been sterilized without their proper consent. "Situations when it was absolutely in conflict with law and absolutely in conflict with the wish of the women have been proven," she stated.

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