Prague will not be closed during coronavirus measures, say top officials

It would make no sense to close Prague and other Czech cities says Central Crisis Staff head Roman Prymula


Written by ČTK Published on 20.03.2020 18:16:27 (updated on 20.03.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, March 20 (CTK) – It would make no sense to close Prague and other Czech cities and a curfew might be imposed only if all the measures failed, Central Crisis Staff head Roman Prymula said today.

“I am almost certain that no closures such as that of Prague will occur,” he said.

Prague is the place where the highest number of people contracted coronavirus in the country. Out of the 774 confirmed cases, 241 are in the capital city.

Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) and Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib (Pirates) ruled out earlier this week that Prague would be closed.

“We are not a big China where they can afford to close such a big locality because the other localities would have to replace the production that is in the close locality, and this is almost impossible,” Prymula said.

He said a curfew may be imposed on small villages in extreme cases.

He said the state will analyse the situation in the small town of Litovel and the surrounding area.

On Monday, Litovel, Unicov and other 19 municipalities in the Olomouc Region, central Moravia, have been closed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“It has turned out that it is very complicated in terms of deliveries, issuing permits for entering the area and so on,” Prymula said.

He told today’s issue of daily Pravo that a curfew would be imposed only if people failed to respect the limits set for the free movement.

Prymula said a curfew is an absolutely extreme solution. He said this is a model that was applied in China for some time to stabilise the situation. He said people did not go to work and public transport stopped operating in this Chinese model, which hopefully would not have to be used in the Czech Republic.

Prymula called on people to use textile face masks rather than one-off face masks as it is very complicated to have sufficient supplies of the one-off face masks in the present situation.

He also said he would propose to the government to cancel special offers of food for reduced prices. He said special offers cause problems because people gather and the distribution of leaflets is a potential source of spreading coronavirus. Moreover, as only people aged over 65 can go shopping food between 7:00 and 9:00, other customers complained that the old people bought all the food that was sold at a discount, he added.

Prymula also said trucks with protective equipment against coronavirus, which should have come to the Czech Republic today, would arrive in about two days due to quarantine measures abroad. He said the quarantine measures concerned one of the workers related to the delivery.

Health Minister Adam Vojtech (for ANO) said on Thursday that the trucks would deliver about one million face masks to the country.

Prymula said a part of the rooms in Czech hotels could be reserved for doctors and nurses so that they could live near the medical facilities they worked in. He said Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek (CSSD) made this proposal. He added that this has been applied is several other countries.

The government previously reduced the operation of hotels and other accommodation services.

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