The Teaching Hospital in Ostrava managed to deflect a cyber-attack on one
of its servers on Thursday night, its spokeswoman Petra Petlachová told
reporters on Friday. She said a similar attempt by hackers had been
deflated several days ago.
The National Office for Cyber and Information Security (NÚKIB) on Thursday issued a warning about possible attacks on the computer systems of hospitals and other important targets, issuing a set of comprehensive recommendations for devices that may be at risk.
The coronavirus crisis has unleashed a wave of attacks on similar targets worldwide.
Police are investigating the death by shooting of a 75-year-old man in Prague’s Motol Hospital. The man, who was suffering from cancer in a terminal stage of the disease, is believed to have shot himself in the early hours of Friday. It is not clear how he obtained the weapon. The police have ruled out speculation that the death was linked to the coronavirus epidemic.
The government may allow church services to take place from April 27 under
strict hygiene conditions, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said in an
interview for Radio Z on Friday.
According to a proposal that has been consulted with Cardinal Dominik Duka, public masses could initially be attended by no more than 15 persons, from May 11 by thirty and from May 25 by a maximum of 50 people, respecting hygiene rules and distancing advice. As of June 8, church services would no longer be limited as to the number of participants.
The prime minister said the proposal still had to be approved by the government but had already received a nod from Health Minister Adam Vojtěch and the country’s leading epidemiologist Roman Prymula.
Government measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus have affected
90,000 to 127,000 businesses and 145,000 to 299,000 entrepreneurs directly
or indirectly, according to the results of a poll conducted by the Czech
A third of Czech firms and the same share of entrepreneurs are affected directly, meaning they were forced to close down their operations.
The worst hit is the Karlovy Vary Region, where up to 44 per cent of firms and 42 per cent of entrepreneurs were hit by the restrictions.
The hardest hit are the smallest companies with an annual turnover of up to one million crowns. Another 37,000 (10 percent) companies and 154,000 (17 percent) entrepreneurs have been partially affected.
They were not forced to close down their operations, but sustained losses due to a significant drop in sales as a result of the restrictions on the movement of persons.
Self-employed entrepreneurs affected by the government restrictions taken
to curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic will receive a one-off
contribution of CZK 15,000 from the state in May, Prime Minister Andrej
Babiš said in an interview for the daily Právo.
The prime minister said the government was also counting on a financial contribution in June if necessary. For the period from March 12 to April 30, the contribution is CZK 25,000.
According to the government’s reopening timetable some establishments will remain closed for longer. For example, hairdressers will not be able to reopen until May 25, theatres or hotels until June 8.
The Czech National Bank has objected to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s
words that it could share its profit with the state at this time of crisis
and could further reduce interest rates.
The central bank responded via its spokesperson Marketa Fišerová who emphasized that the bank is independent of the government in moulding its monetary policy.
She further noted that it is not clear what profit the prime minister had in mind since the bank board had already agreed to use last year's profit of CZK 57.9 billion to cover part of the accounting losses from previous years.
Asked by journalists how the state would raise money for the economic losses incurred by the coronavirus crisis Mr. Babiš noted that Czech banks are in excellent shape.
"The central bank has huge reserves, it could share a little profit with us, by further lowering the basic interest rate," the prime minister said. He also praised the fact that the country had not joined the single currency and was still using the crown.
The Japanese flu drug favipiravir is on its way to the Czech Republic where
it will be tested on COVID-19 patients, Czech Foreign Minister Tomas
Petříček tweeted on Thursday. He thanked Japan for making the drug
available to Czech patients.
The Czech Republic is one of 20 countries to which Japan is supplying the drug. Tests abroad have indicated that the new flu drug is effective in treating moderately serious cases of coronavirus infection.
The head of the prison service Petr Dohnal has asked presiding judges not
to serve jail sentences for banal crimes under the present conditions in
order to prevent the coronavirus infection being imported to the
Dohnal said that around 500 convicts are placed in Czech jail houses every month regardless of the coronavirus crisis. He said fines and house arrest as an alternative to standard incarceration for banal crimes would help reduce the risk.
No Czech prisoner has as yet been registered COVID 19 positive. Prisoners are currently spending their days sewing face-masks for hospitals, social workers and old age homes.