Meteorologists: Extreme heat and torrential rains to hit Czechia today

Plus: No defect found in historic plane that crashed, NGOs seek change in sterilization victims' compensation, and more. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 15.08.2022 17:36:00 (updated on 16.08.2022) Reading time: 6 minutes

EXTREME WEATHER Strong heatwave, storms to hit Czechia today

Czech Meteorologists are warning of high temperatures, which are threatening the whole of the Czech Republic from today. In most areas, temperatures will exceed 31° Celsius, in the south of Moravia, it may be more than 34° Celsius on Thursday. A thunderstorm warning is in effect from this afternoon; those storms could be accompanied by torrential rainfall of around 30 mm, gusts of wind up to 50 to 70 km/h, or smaller hail.

Health Prague wastewater tested for monkeypox, along with Covid

Wastewater in Prague has been tested not only for Covid but since early August, for monkeypox as well, and the results are assessed by the University of Chemistry and Technology (VŠCHT) and the Military Health Institute, the Prague Water Supply and Sewerage Company (PVK) said in a press release. The wastewater analysis results are expected at the end of August. So far, laboratories have confirmed 35 cases of monkeypox in the Czech Republic, 27 of which are in the capital.

"The real number of [monkeypox] cases is probably higher than the reported one," Prague public health station head Zdeňka Shumová said. The PVK has been monitoring the coronavirus incidence in wastewater in Prague since the beginning of September 2021.

Tragedy No defect found in historic plane that crashed

Sunday's crash of a historic World War II era Hawker Hurricane Mk.IV plane in which the pilot died does not seem to be the result of a technical malfunction. The wreckage of the plane was examined on Monday by investigators from the Air Accidents Investigation Institute. "After the initial inspection, we can say that the plane was airworthy. It did not break up during the flight or any significant part separated from it," Josef Bejdák from the Air Accidents Investigation Institute said, according to Czech Radio.

The investigators carried out an examination of the accident and deposited the wreckage with the Police of the Czech Republic on Monday. The accident occurred at an airshow in Cheb.

Politics New SYRI institute to focus on democracy fragility

A new national Systemic Risk Institute (SYRI), seated in Brno, will focus on the fragility of democracies during crises, and one of its teams will look into how the Czech state managed the coronavirus pandemic in international comparison. "Problems have deepened in those [democracies] that had either institutional or other shortcomings. The pandemic accelerated the processes that started before it," Petra Guasti, from SYRI, said in a press release, adding that the pandemic proved how fragile democracy was.

Roma NGOs seek change in sterilization victims' compensation

Roma and human rights organizations in Czechia have called on the cabinet to amend the procedure of granting compensation to people for unlawful sterilization since the interpretation of the current rules causes the procedure to fail and makes the applicants' position uncertain. An open letter in this respect has been addressed to Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Health Minister Vlastimil Válek, the Human Rights League said on behalf of the signatories. According to it, women filed 261 applications for compensation until the end of May. The state has decided on 74 on them and complied with 35 so far.

Since the beginning of this year, victims of unlawful, forced-upon sterilization can gain CZK 300,000 worth of compensation from the state. The sum is designated for those who underwent sterilization between July 1, 1966, and March 21, 2012, without their free decision and without knowing the surgery's consequences.  

Economy People have applied for a contribution for about 211,000 children

People have already applied for a one-time contribution of CZK 5,000 for about 211,000 children. Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marian Jurečka announced this on Twitter this morning. In total, according to the ministry, 1.1 million households could receive the allowance for roughly 1.6 million children. Of these, people will receive a benefit automatically for 240,000 children, because they already receive child benefits. With the contributions, the government wants to mitigate the effects of price increases on families.

Aug. 15, 2022

Statistics Central Bohemia has youngest population

 The Central Bohemia region has the youngest population of any region in the Czech Republic with an average age of 41.5 years, according to the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ). It is followed by Prague with 42.3 years. The oldest populations are in the Zlín, Hradec Králové, and Karlovy Vary regions, with an average of 43.6 years in all of them. In the past nine years, the average age increased in all Czech regions. In the whole country, the average age was 42.8 years last year. The average age of women and men was 44.2 and 41.3 years, respectively. In 2012, the average age was 41.3 years.

Covid Health Ministry launches online booster registration

The Health Ministry launched registration for Covid vaccination with a second booster dose. Those interested can register via the central reservation system. Together with this, the Health Ministry presented a new campaign to promote vaccination. The new slogan for the Czech Health Ministry's Covid vaccination campaign will be "We get vaccinated for life without fear" with the subtitle "Health favors the prepared," the ministry representatives told the press today. Read more in our Covid update.

Crime Police seek person who shined a laser at a passenger plane

 Czech Police officers are looking for the person who shined a green laser into the cockpit of a passenger plane, new server iDnes reported. According to investigators, the person endangered over 130 people traveling on the plane about half an hour after midnight on Aug. 12. The police believe the source was in Kladno. The perpetrator faces a prison sentence of three to eight years if convicted. The police warn that the glare of a laser can cause the disaster of the plane, as pilots can lose their orientation at a critical moment.

Education Eight Czech universities on international ranking

 Eight Czech universities were among the 1,000 best universities in the world in this year's Academic Ranking of World Universities ranking, which was one more than last year. According to the ranking, the best Czech school is Charles University, which finished in j301st-400th place. It fell 100 places since last year. Brno's Masaryk University (MU) rose 200 places on the list to reach the 401–500th place in the world.

Palacký University Olomouc (UPOl), the Czech Technical University (ČVUT), the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (ČZU), the Brno University of Technology (VUT Brno), the Technical University of Ostrava (VSB-TUO), and the University of South Bohemia (JČU). The first three places were occupied by American schools: Harvard University, Stanford University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  

Military Czech drone maker opposes Israeli drone deal

Ladislav Semetkovský, director of Czech drone maker Primoco UAV, said the Defense Ministry ignored Czech firms in the selection of drones and was about to buy Israeli-made Heron 1 drones instead. Semetkovský said Primoco is the only certified manufacturer of military unmanned aerial vehicles in the Czech Republic. He added that the Heron 1, whose purchase is being negotiated by the military, is obsolete and has a high accident rate.

In response to the criticism, the Defense Ministry said that the talks with Israel on the purchase of three drones were based on accurate technological demands of the military and the Heron 1 is optimal for its needs. Daily Právo previously reported that the three drones should cost CZK 1.5 billion.

Health Only 6 percent of Czechs seek help for mental problems

Some 60 percent of Czechs solve their mental problems on their own, 30 percent ask their friends, and only 6 percent consult experts, according to a survey conducted for the NGO Nevypusť duši (Don't Give Up the Ghost) and T-Mobile. Nevypusť duši cofounder Marie Salomonová said stigmatization of mental diseases kept people from seeking help. The Czech Mental Health Institute (NÚDZ) said that 83 percent of people who meet the mental disorder criteria are not treated.

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