Roman Prymula to become new Czech Health Minister

Czech PM Andrej Babiš has nominated the government commissioner for science and research in healthcare to replace Adam Vojtěch

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 21.09.2020 12:10 (updated on 21.09.2020)

Epidemiologist Roman Prymula, the Czech Republic's government commissioner for science and research in healthcare, has been nominated for the recently-vacated position of Health Minister, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has tweeted.

Babiš states that Czech President Miloš Zeman agrees to his choice, and Prymula will be officially inaugurated tomorrow.

"I nominated Professor Roman Prymula to the President for the post of Minister of Health," Babiš writes.

"The President promised me that he would comply with my proposal today, so that the new Minister of Health could be inaugurated tomorrow."

Prymula will replace Adam Vojtěch, who held the position of Czech Health Minister since December 2017. Vojtěch unexpectedly announced his resignation from the post earlier this morning.

Prymula himself has been one of the most prominent figures in the Czech Republic's fight against COVID-19 since earlier this spring, when he held the post of Deputy Minister of Health under Vojtěch.

In mid-May, Prymula announced his resignation as Deputy Health Minister; PM later offered him the Government Plenipotentiary for Science and Research in Health Care, which he has held since June.

Prymula has been no stranger to controversy, often for his unfiltered statements to the press. Not an elected official, he has often spoke his mind and made some wild predictions.

After Czech borders were closed in March, Prymula speculated that they may remain shut for two years in quotes that raged through local media. Borders were re-opened to most European states months later, but largely remain closed to the rest of the world.

Just yesterday, Prymula predicted that the daily number of COVID-19 cases in Czech Republic will soon reach 6,000-8,000, after hitting a high of over 3,000 cases last week.

Today, the Czech government will re-implement its Central Crisis Staff to deal with the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Prymula previously led the Central Crisis Staff in March before being replaced by Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček.

Additional measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the Czech Republic are expected to be announced later today.