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

9,000 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, former Czech president Klaus recovering, and more top headlines from this weekend

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 07.03.2021 09:30 (updated on 07.03.2021)

Czech Republic reports 9,066 COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The Czech Republic reported 9,066 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, 4,000 fewer than on Friday, but 1,200 more than a week ago, according to the data released by the Czech Health Ministry released this morning. The death toll has risen to 21,717.

Saturday's rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases is the third highest weekend rise since the start of the epidemic. The record was set on October 24, 2020, when 12,473 cases were confirmed. At present, there are 168,000 known active COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic. The reproduction number has slightly risen from 1.021 to 1.024. A reproduction number over one indicates that the epidemic is gaining strength.

Poll: Czech government has not sufficiently informed public about vaccination

About 85 percent of general practitioners hold the view that the Czech government has not sufficiently informed the public about COVID-19 vaccination, according to a poll conducted by the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University and society Focus and released on Saturday.

74 percent of doctors polled said they did not have enough information on the vaccination from the viewpoint of carrying out their work. Above all, they lack a detailed description of the vaccination plan. Most of them, 95 percent, consider the principle of vaccination safe. 46 percent even called it very safe. The poll was conducted on a sample of 1,163 general practitioners between January 11 and February 7.

Former Czech president Klaus recovering from COVID-19

Former president Václav Klaus exited his compulsory quarantine for COVID-19 on Friday, the spokesman for the Václav Klaus Institute, Petr Macinka, has told journalists. Klaus, 79, is an opponent of the lockdown measures and he refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19. He tested positive for coronavirus on February 23.

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"Klaus recovered in his home environment, without the need for any special hospital care, by means of the commonly accessible drugs," Macinka said. He also thanked the public for the "tremendous support" Klaus has receivined in the past weeks.

Minor anti-government rally held despite lockdown

A crowd of about 50 took part in a protest rally against the government lockdown measures in Písek, South Bohemia, staged by the group We Together on Saturday. Organizers said the anti-coronavirus measures curtailed personal freedom. The crowd was addressed by several speakers, including independent lawmaker Lubomír Volný.

"We are the silent majority and we should stop being silent. Do not let pure air be stolen from us, do not let our pubs be stolen. We want to fight for this. However, we will fight in a peaceful way and we will win the elections," Volný said. One of the organizers of the protest, Pavel Sedláček, said participation in the protest was supposed to be bigger. "However, police stopped a number of people heading here and did not let them in," Sedláček told the crowd.

Former Czech Defense Minister Vilém Holáň passes away

Former Czech Defense Minister and deputy chairman of the Christian Democrat party Vilém Holáň died at the age of 82 last night, party spokesperson Kateřina Procházková told journalists on Saturday. Holáň was a diplomat and Czech and European deputy.

Holáň held the post of Defense Minister between 1994 and 1996. He came to the post after his predecessor, Antonín Baudyš, was forced to resign; after two years, he was replaced by Miloslav Výborný. Holan was a member of the Czech Chamber of Deputies between 1996 and 2006 and of the European Parliament just after the Czech Republic entered the EU in 2004.

Night fishing, group hunting officially banned due to COVID-19

Going fishing at night is now banned in the Czech Republic, as the government has changed its exemptions from the blanket anti-COVID restrictions and officially prohibited fishing during the night curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

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Group hunting has also been formally banned. In addition, the recent restriction of people's movement prohibits fishers and hunters from travelling beyond their home town or village. Exemptions are granted for urgent fish farming activities that cannot be postponed.