Prague hospitals ban visits amid surge in cases of respiratory diseases

Prague's Thomayerova and Na Homolce hospitals have both placed a temporary ban on visitors in the week leading up to the Christmas holidays. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 17.12.2022 09:58:00 (updated on 17.12.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Two Prague hospitals have banned visitors due to a recent surge in respiratory diseases in the week leading up to the Christmas holidays, according to hospital spokespeople and information posted to social media. Additionally, wearing a face mask may be required when visiting hospitals that have not banned visits.

As of today, visits to Thomayerova Hospital in Prague 4 will only be possible after consultation with a doctor. From Monday, a similar ban on visitors will be in effect at Na Homolce hospital in Prague 4. Additional Prague hospitals have yet to institute a ban on visitors, but may follow suit in the coming weeks.

According to both Na Homolce and Thomayerova hospitals, the reason for the ban is the recent rise in patients hospitalized with respiratory diseases. As the hospitals near capacity, the risk of the diseases spreading increases greatly.

"Due to the high number of hospitalized and outpatients with respiratory diseases, when the capacity of beds in the ward is already very limited and there is a risk of further spread of the infection, visitors are prohibited at Thomayerova Hospital," said Petr Sulek, a spokesperson for the hospital.

From Monday, a ban on visits will also be in effect a Na Homolce hospital, according to information posted to social media. Visitors allowed in the hospital in exceptional cases must wear a FFP2 respirator to limit the spread of respiratory diseases.

"The reason for this stricter regime is the possibility of serious consequences of viral respiratory infections in hospitalized patients," reads information posted to the hospital's website.

During the Covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021, bans on visitors at Prague hospitals were commonplace.

This winter, a surge in cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is largely responsible for the increase in patients and local hospitals nearing capacity. RSV most strongly affects younger children, and the average age of those hospitalized with the virus is around two years old. RSV has seen a rise in cases worldwide this year.

While other hospitals have not yet prohibited visitors, many require a respirator to be worn to limit the spread of respiratory diseases. The Czech Ministry of Health recommended local hospitals to take such measures earlier this fall. Those experiencing minor symptoms of colds or viruses are also advised to postpone scheduled hospital visits.

"In view of the increasing incidence of respiratory infections in the population, we recommend wearing respiratory protection when visiting Motol General Hospital," reads information posted to the website of Motol Hospital in Prague 5.

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