Czech weekend news in brief: Top stories for September 19, 2021

Covid-19 cases continue a slight upward trend, Czech tennis stars withdraw from the Ostrava Open, and more top headlines from this weekend.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 19.09.2021 14:07 (updated on 20.09.2021)

Czech Republic reports 301 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday

Tests revealed 301 new Covid-19 cases in the Czech Republic on Saturday, about 50 more than a week ago and the highest number of new cases on a Saturday since May 22, according to the latest data from the Czech Health Ministry.

There were 146 patients with Covid-19 in Czech hospitals on Saturday, 23 fewer than on Friday, and 23 of them are in a serious condition. One year ago, about 500 patients with Covid-19 were treated in hospitals and about 90 of them were in serious condition. The reproduction number, which indicates how many people are infected by one Covid-positive person, slightly decreased from 1.13 to 1.11 on Saturday. The R number has been above 1.0 since August 26. 

Christian Democrats back off demand to oppose same-sex marriage

Christian Democrats chairman Marian Jurečka has backed off the demand that the two other parties of the Together coalition, the Civic Democrats and TOP 09, vote against the approval of same-sex marriages in a possible future government. In the latest polls, the Together coalition ranks second behind the incumbent ANO party. 

In an interview with Denik N on Friday, Jurečka said he cannot imagine that the Christian Democrats would be part of a government coalition majority that would approve marriage for same-sex couples. On Saturday, he took to Twitter to back off those statements. "We definitely won’t destroy the chance for a change in our country. The Czech Republic needs a change, and it also needs a government that is able to agree on the biggest problems of the country and deal with them," he said. 

Communists to elect new leadership on October 23

The Czech Communist Party will have its extraordinary election congress on October 23, two weeks after the general election, and its regular congress will be held in May 2022. Opponents of the current leadership pushed through the holding of the election congress next month.

"The new leadership would have time to prepare the regular congress," Communist first deputy head Petr Šimůnek told CTK, explaining the reasons for the regular congress, which was originally to be held in April 2020, but it was repeatedly postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic. Until today, it was set to be held in mid-November.

Two Top Czech tennis players withdraw from Ostrava Open

The Ostrava Open 2021 women’s tennis tournament lost its highest-ranked player as Karolína Plíšková (3rd in WTA rankings) withdrew from the Open on Friday due to wrist troubles. Another top Czech player, Barbora Krejčíková (7th in the WTA), has also withdrawn from the tournament. 

Krejčíková, who won the French Open in June, said she has not sufficiently recovered from exhaustion following a US Open match in which she defeated Spain’s Garbine Muguruza. The Ostrava Open 2021 will be played from Monday to Sunday on hard courts. The prize money of the second Ostrava Open is $565,530. Qualification matches started this weekend.

Cardinal Schonborn celebrates mass on the anniversary of the death of St. Ludmila

A national pilgrimage marking the 1100th anniversary of the death of Saint Ludmila of Bohemia continued this weekend with a mass celebrated in a field on the edge of Tetín by Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, a special envoy of Pope Francis for anniversary celebrations.

Several thousands of people attended the mass. Tetín Mayor Martin Hrdlička, who heads the Saint Ludmila association, said at the beginning of the mass that Czech historians and genealogists found out that Schonborn is a direct descendant of St. Ludmila. "We have therefore prepared a certificate that proves this," Hrdlička said.

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