Czech weekend news in brief: top stories for October 3, 2021

Rate of Covid-19 cases continues to rise, PM backs Foreign Minister in football racism row, and more top headlines from this weekend.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 03.10.2021 09:57:00 (updated on 03.10.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czech rate of new Covid-19 cases continues to rise

The Czech Republic reported 550 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the highest daily rise on a weekend day since May 15, the Health Ministry announced this morning. The number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19, meanwhile, dropped from 240 to 217. Of those patients, 37 are considered to be in serious condition.

The reproduction number, indicating the average number of those infected by one person with Covid-19, has declined slightly from 1.32 to 1.29. The reproduction number has been above 1.0 since the end of August, indicating that the epidemic is accelerating. The incidence rate, or the number of infections per 100,000 people over the past seven days, has risen slightly to 41.

Czech PM backs foreign minister in football row over alleged racism

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš stands by Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek in the case of insults directed at Czech children in Scottish media and on the Internet after the Europa League football match between Sparta Praha and the Glasgow Rangers, the PM has tweeted. Kulhánek has summoned the British ambassador to discuss the incident on Monday. Babiš writes that he feels sad about the approach from Scottish media.

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"Is this world still normal? I am reading what the Scots have said in the media after the Sparta vs Rangers match and I feel sad because of it," Babiš tweeted on Saturday. "Will from now on any chanting during a football match be connected with skin color? Will we allow children to be insulted on social media?"

Prague police carry out extensive sting on Friday targeting illegal migration

Police in Prague carried out an extensive sting code-named Zeus III on Friday into the evening, police spokesman Richard Hrdina has told CTK. The sting focused on illegal migration and other offences, including traffic violations. More than 3,000 cars and 400 individuals were checked during the operation, and police uncovered two foreigners staying in the Czech Republic without a valid residence permit.

About 150 officers from the foreign, traffic, and riot police departments participated in the checks in cooperation with customs officers and military police. They imposed around 20 fines totaling 30,000 crowns, mainly for traffic violations and other misdemeanors, and reported three cases to a respective administrative body for further proceedings.

Czech memorial to political prisoners unveiled at former uranium mine

The Czech Radioactive Waste Repository Authority placed a new memorial to political prisoners at the site of the former uranium mine Brotherhood and the current nuclear waste repository in Jáchymov on Saturday. After the Communist party seized power in Czechoslovakia in 1948, tens of thousands of political prisoners were forced into labor camps in Jáchymov during the 1950s.

Now, a new information panel reminds visitors of the past and present of the Brotherhood mine, where a nuclear waste repository has stood for dozens of years. The panel was created in cooperation with historians from the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes. Via a QR code, it is connected with the Jáchymov Hell tourist path, which tells stories of atrocities at forced labor camps in the area.

Czech Republic to sign contract for Israeli air defense system on Tuesday

The Czech Ministry of Defense will sign a contract for the purchase of the SPYDER air defense system from Israel on Tuesday, the ministry press section has told CTK. The Israeli firm Rafael will supply the SPYDER system to the Czech Republic for 13.7 billion crowns on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement.

The SHORAD (Short Range Air Defence) system is designed to protect cities, nuclear power plants, airports, industrial centers and other important premises. It is able to detect and eliminate aircraft, drones, helicopters and guided missiles, the ministry said. SHORAD will replace the Soviet KUB defense system from the 1970s currently used by the Czech military.

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