Czech weekend news in brief: top stories for May 16, 2021

Saturday Covid-19 total hits 36-week low, hundreds participate in Navalis Festival in Prague, and more headlines from this weekend

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 16.05.2021 09:42 (updated on 16.05.2021)

New Covid-19 cases lowest Saturday total in 36 weeks; vaccine count hits Saturday high

The Czech Republic reported 596 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, the lowest Saturday total since September 5 and 128 fewer than last Saturday, according to new data published by the Czech Health Ministry. Meanwhile, 31,405 doses of vaccines were applied, the highest-ever Saturday number and 655 doses more than a week ago.

More than 4.1 million doses of anti-Covid-19 vaccines have been applied in the Czech Republic since the start of the vaccination late last year. A total of 1,103,909 people have completed their vaccination; the total population of the county is about 10.7 million.

Hundreds take part in Navalis Festival in Prague

Hundreds of people attended Saturday's annual Navalis celebrations in Prague in honour of John of Nepomuk. This year's event marked 300 years since the beatification of the Czech saint, but had to be held in a restricted form due to ongoing measures related to the subsiding coronavirus epidemic.

A divine service was held in St. Vitus Cathedral, led by Prague Archbishop Cardinal Dominik Duka. Afterwards, a procession crossed the historic Charles Bridge, a venue linked to John of Nepomuk's martyrdom. However, the originally planned flight of military planes over the bridge was criticized by Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib and was cancelled by the organizers.

Hacking extortion attacks up by 259 percent in the Czech Republic this year

The number of extortion attacks conducted by hackers has risen by 259 percent in the Czech Republic this year, according to data provided by security company Check Point. Most of the attacks target the healthcare sector, with an average of 109 per organization every week, followed by public services with 59 per week and insurers and lawyers with 34 per week. 

Check Point said that ransomware impact on Czech companies currently stands at more than twice the world average. Cyber criminals usually apply a method of double extortion, demanding a ransom for encrypted data as well as threatening to release stolen data.

Prague exhibition remembers 100 years of the Czechoslovak Communist Party

A new open-air exhibition at Prague's Kampa island called Red Century displays milestones in the 100-year history of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, which gradually involved up to six million members and determined the country's history for 40 years from its February 1948 seizure of power. Prepared by Museum Kampa, the Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation and the Museum of the 20th Century Memory, the display on 12 panels shows the Communist coup and show trials, the reform movement crushed by communist hardliners and backed by Soviet military invasion, and other key events.

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"As a historian, I think it is necessary to [...] learn to recognize the causes and circumstances of events that resulted in the loss of freedom for dozens of years. Again and again, historical data must be presented to stop the tendency to relativize the past," said historian Jan Kalous.

Archaeologist uncovers 300-year-old remains of priest in Moravian church

Archaeologist Samuel Spanihel uncovered a human skeleton during research at Valašské Meziříčí's Church of the Assumption. The skeleton is most probably the remains of local dean Andreas Helmesini, who died in 1707 and was buried in the parish, the Vallachia Regional Museum has announced. The tomb has an unusual location beneath the church's front benches, with the skeleton's legs pointed towards the main altar.

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"This is how Catholic priests were buried after 1614 based on the Rituale Romanum directive regulating burial rules. In this region, it started to be applied as of the second half of the 17th century," Spanihel said.

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