Czech weekend news in brief: top stories for March 28, 2021

Prague police detain aggressive protesters who attacked officer, people pay last respects to Lidice survivor, and more headlines from this weekend

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 28.03.2021 09:20 (updated on 28.03.2021)

Prague Police detain two aggressive demonstrators who attacked officer

Two participants in a demonstration against the government anti-epidemic restrictions rules attacked and injured a police officer in Prague's Wenceslas Square on Saturday. They were later detained by police, spokeswoman Violeta Siřišťová told CTK. After the demonstration had ended, some protesters walked across Palacký square to Albertov. Two of them, a man and a woman, were brought to a police station on suspicion of the criminal offense of attacking a public officer.

The police detained three other protesters, one in Wenceslas Square and two in Albertov, for refusing to cooperate with police. They are suspected of a misdemeanor offense, Siřišťová added. Some 40 people took part in the demonstration, which ended after 1:00 p.m. Police officers from the criminal and riot police were monitoring the protest.

People pay last respects to 1942 Lidice massacre survivor

Dozens of people paid their last respects to Marie Šupíková in a chapel in Kladno on Saturday. As a child, Šupíková survived the Nazi obliteration of Lidice in 1942. She passed away on Monday at the age of 88. Šupíková was one of the few Lidice children sent into re-education with German families. Under a new name, she first lived in Poland and then in Germany.

She returned to Czechoslovakia after the war in 1946 and met her mother, who died at the end of that year due to consequences of imprisonment in a concentration camp. Her father was executed by the Nazis. Šupíková had overcome the Covid-19 infection and later died from other health ailments, Lidice Memorial director Eduard Stehlík told CTK.

Statistical Office head is responsible for census failure, says PM

Czech Statistical Office head Marek Rojíček is responsible for the error in the online population census, PM Andrej Babiš said on Saturday. He added that he would like to hear an explanation from Rojíček at the government meeting on Monday and to see the contract with the supplier, OKsystem.

"This is unbelievable, I do not comprehend this. I call on the director to immediately inform citizens what is going on and go to the media as well. At the government meeting on Monday, he will submit to us information on how he selected the firm and the copy of the contract he signed," Babiš said. Opposition politicians criticized the collapse of the online version of the population census, saying the government is responsible for it.

Education Minister believes that schools will reopen on April 12

Education Minister Robert Plaga believes the Czech schools closed during the Covid-19 lockdown will reopen on April 12, but the date will be debated early next week, he told reporters after meeting with President Miloš Zeman's expert team on Saturday. Zeman was more prudent as far as the date is concerned, Plaga added.

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"The president would like schools to only reopen in the case of a lower number [of new Covid-19 infections], which means even a bit later," Plaga said. The expert team supported the stance, saying the particular conditions of a return to schools must be set by the Health Ministry. "I believe in April 12. The decision of the Health Ministry is naturally crucial," Plaga said. Health Minister Jan Blatný called this date the earliest possible on Friday.

Younger Czechs more often dying from Covid-19 compared to last year

The average age of people in the Czech Republic who have died with Covid-19 is two years lower than last year, according to the data from the Czech Institute of Health Information and Statistics. People under 70 now account for one-fifth of the roughly 13,000 victims of the epidemic this year, while last year, this was 16 percent out of the roughly 12,000.

The reason may be the more dangerous British mutation of Covid-19, as well as the ongoing protection of senior citizens by vaccination. Since mid-February, doctors in charge of Covid-19 patients have been warning that younger people than before are being hospitalized and also dying. The British coronavirus mutation has been spreading in the Czech Republic since December, now becoming the prevailing form.

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