France has thanked the Czech Republic for offering to provide medical care
to six French people with Covid-19. They had been due to arrive at Brno’s
University Hospital on Monday but in the end the French authorities decided
not to send the patients, all of whom require artificial lung ventilation.
The Czech Republic has previously provided assistance to Italy, Spain and Slovenia in connection with the coronavirus crisis.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says the idea of trying to create herd
immunity against Covid-19 in the Czech Republic is “very risky”.
Speaking on Czech Radio’s Radiožurnál station on Monday, Mr. Babiš
said he disagreed with deputy health minister Roman Prymula, who said he
had come around to the idea of such an approach, if vulnerable groups could
The prime minister said the Czech Republic was pursuing a smart quarantine approach and that he could not envisage the herd immunity policy floated by Mr. Prymula.
A group of people wearing masks attacked the Czech Embassy in Moscow on
Sunday, days after the removal of a statue of Red Army commander Ivan Konev
in Prague. A sign with the slogan Stop Fascism was placed on the fence of
the embassy and a number of smoke bombs were thrown into its grounds.
The Russian TV station REN said the incident had come in response to the removal of the statue of Konev.
A group named Other Russia said they were responsible for the attack and declared on their website “Our tanks will be in Prague!”
The Central Crisis Staff, which is leading the official Czech response to
Covid-19, will recommend that the government lift a ban on leaving the
Czech Republic from April 14. However, people will only be allowed to exit
the country in justified cases, the head of the Central Crisis Staff, Jan
Hamáček, told reporters on Monday.
The country’s borders would remain closed under such a change, Mr. Hamáček, who is also interior minister, said, adding that selected frontier crossings would continue to operate. Anybody who leaves the country will need to go into quarantine if they return.
A prohibition (with exceptions) on residents of the Czech Republic leaving and on foreigners entering the country is due to run until April 12. A ban on travel to “risk” states entered into effect on March 14; two days later it was extended to all countries.
If vulnerable groups can be protected from Covid-19, a large section of the
healthy population should go through the disease or be exposed to it,
deputy health minister Roman Prymula said in an interview for DVTV on
Sunday evening. Mr. Prymula, who has been a key figure in the
government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus, says he came around to
the idea of creating herd immunity after it became clear that China had
provided incorrect data on the number of people infected with Covid-19
Mr. Prymula said it was not possible to maintain the current tight restrictions in the Czech Republic for another two or three months and that these would be gradually eased. Children should return to school in mid-May, wearing face masks, and some cross-border travel will be allowed soon, he said.
For the first time in its history the Prague Spring International Music
Festival will be held on-line.
Approximately ten concerts will be streamed on the festival’s web page and a number of selected concerts will be broadcast by Czech Radio and Czech Television, the festivals spokesman Pavel Trojan told reporters.
The 75th Prague Spring International Music Festival was due to open on May 7th and offer audiences 53 concerts altogether.
In view of the volatile situation the festival’s management opted for an alternative format so that even in this difficult situation music can bring people hope, the festival’s director Roman Bělor said.
The Czech Republic will treat six COVID-19 patients from France at the
university hospital in Brno to help alleviate pressure on the French
medical system, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Sunday.
“France turned to us with a request for help and thanks to sufficient capacity we were able to satisfy them” the prime minister told Czech Television.
He said several hospitals had responded positively to the request and the government had offered to treat 14 patients altogether. All are in a serious condition and require intensive care.
Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jana Maláčová has said it may be
necessary to place all seniors who are COVID positive in hospital.
The minister said that if media reports that two seniors with mild symptoms had died of the disease in an old age home proved correct, then it would be advisable to place all infected seniors in hospitals where they would get the best possible medical care.
She also stressed the need for priority, blanket testing of seniors and employees in old age homes and institutions for long-term care.