Czech weekend news in brief: top stories for May 9, 2021

Lowest Saturday rise in Covid-19 cases since September, Czech Republic donates oxygen tanks to India, and more headlines from this weekend

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 09.05.2021 09:40 (updated on 09.05.2021)

Czech Republic reports 717 new Covid-19 cases, lowest Saturday total since September

The Czech Republic reported 717 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, 450 fewer than a week ago, according to the latest data that the Health Ministry released today. It marks the first Saturday since last September when the reported rise in new cases was less than 1,000.

As of today, there were 102 new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past seven days, five less cases than on Friday when a revised figure stood at 107. This indicator is a crucial element in the government's decision to soften the anti-Covid-19 restrictions; it has been falling since March, when it exceeded 800 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Czech Republic donates 500 oxygen tanks to India, offers health workers

Czech ambassador Milan Hovorka gave 500 oxygen tanks to India today as a donation from the Czech government due to the serious epidemiological situation in the country, Czech PM Andrej Babiš told journalists at the EU summit meeting in Porto. Babiš also offered the assistance of Czech health workers to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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"We offer the assistance of our health workers. Our Health Ministry is in contact with the Indian ambassador in Prague," Babiš said. Czech Central Crisis Staff head and Deputy PM Jan Hamáček previously said that the donation cost the Czech Republic six million crowns, half of which were transport costs.

Exhibition on Czechoslovak-Soviet relations opens in Prague

The exhibition We Will Never Forget opened in Prague on Saturday at a square where the statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev had been standing until April 2020. It presents life stories and important historical moments in the relationship between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. Prague District 6 Mayor Ondřej Kolář said that the exhibition showed how easily liberators may turn into occupiers, which people still should remember today.

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Posters and audiovisual items at the exhibition present personal stories, speeches from eyewitnesses at the end of WWII, the Soviet influence in the 1950s, the 1968 occupation by Soviet troops, and the 1989 fall of the Czechoslovak communist regime and the subsequent departure of the Soviet army from the country.

Czech army promotes second woman to general

The Czech military now has two female generals, as University of Defence rector Zuzana Kročová was among the soldiers promoted to general by President Miloš Zeman at Prague Castle today. The first female Czech general was Lenka Šmerdová, consultant to the chief-of-staff, who was promoted in rank in 2017.

Kročová is a doctor and clinical immunologist. She joined the army in 2006. Last year, she became rector of the University of Defence in Brno, being the first woman to hold the post. Two months ago, she was named professor in infection biology.

Companies should be in charge of retraining employees, says Czech PM

Employers should handle the retraining of employees and the state should cover the costs, Czech PM Andrej Babiš said during an informal meeting of EU heads in Porto that focused on social affairs on Saturday. Companies should pledge that the retrained employees will work for them for a longer period of time, he added.

"We cannot retrain the unemployed who will then continue to be unemployed. This is nonsense," Babiš said. It is the companies that must retrain people and the state will give them money for it, he added, saying that if the company does not meet its pledge that it will employ a retrained person for a longer time, it must return money to the state.

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