Czech workplaces responsible for highest percentage of COVID-19 cases, says new data

39% of Czech COVID-19 cases originate in the workplace, according to data from the Czech Institute of Health Information and Statistics


Written by ČTK
Published on 22.10.2020 13:00 (updated on 22.10.2020)

Prague, Oct 22 (CTK) - People who test positive for COVID-19 most often got infected at work (39 percent), from family members (22 percent) and at school or university (11 percent), according to new data from the Czech Institute of Health Information and Statistics (UZIS).

The data incorporates details on the situation in the Czech Republic since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic outbreak in March.

From the summer, less than 3 percent of those infected have caught coronavirus in healthcare facilities, and less than two percent in social care facilities. Still, Health Minister Roman Prymula stated yesterday that the number of people who were infected in care homes for the elderly and similar facilities has markedly risen in recent days.

Out of about 190,000 known COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic, about 64,500 people contracted the virus at work.

In September, about 30 percent of people who tested positive were infected at work. So far in October, when many people started working from home and when employers introduced new sanitary measures, this percentage has fallen under 30 percent.

New restrictions limiting free movement and social contacts across the Czech Republic have taken effect today. Most retail shops and services must remain closed, and the government has recommended that employers allow people to work from home and limit direct meetings between employees as much as possible.

Chief public health officer Jarmila Rážová previously said it was often impossible to definitively prove where a person got infected now that the epidemiological situation has worsened, because people may get infected during common daily activities.

Prymula stated that closing the industrial infrastructure is out of question. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has said that the government tried to choose restrictions that would have the lowest possible negative impact on the economy.

During the first epidemic wave in the spring, some car makers halted their production themselves, as a preventative measure. In summer, the OKD coal mines in the Karviná district in northern Moravia were closed because of an infection cluster.

Distance learning has been gradually introduced at all schools across the country. Prymula previously argued that more and more students and teachers were getting infected. In September, more than 8,000 people, or 18 percent of those who tested positive, were infected at schools, according to UZIS data.

The UZIS data from September showed that about one-tenth of the cases are related to large infection clusters. During the two-month summer holidays, when fewer cases were confirmed and public health offices were able to better trace the contacts of those infected, about one-fourth of the cases were connected to such clusters.