The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has proposed that Prague and Moscow
enter into a dialogue on the protection of monuments in order to prevent a
further deterioration of relations between the two countries.
The statement comes amid an escalating diplomatic row over the removal of a divisive statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev from its site in Prague 6, which Moscow claims to have violated the 1993 treaty between the two countries. Russia has filed criminal charges over the statue’s removal.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has dismissed the accusation saying that the 1993 treaty only commits both sides to the dignified treatment of each other’s monuments and their protection from damage.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček recently said that the Czech Republic is ready to negotiate handing over the statue to Russia, if there is interest in such a solution. He emphasized that the decision of the Prague 6 district authorities to remove the statue from its premises was the Czech Republic’s internal affair.
The statue of the controversial marshal who liberated Prague in 1945, but also had an active role in crushing the Hungarian Uprising and building the Berlin Wall, has been at the centre of a diplomatic row between the two countries for some time.
The government has voted to suspend the electronic cash register system,
which obliges entrepreneurs to report their earnings electronically, until
the end of this year in view of the coronavirus crisis.
The latest phase in the staged rollout of the electronic cash register system, pertaining to trades people and doctors, had been due to enter force at the start of May.
Instead entrepreneurs in all professions will be relieved from having to report their earnings. Finance Minister Alena Schillerova said the government was not resigning on the divisive system, but wanted to give entrepreneurs time to restart their businesses without any additional duties.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš introduced the EET in 2016, when he was serving as finance minister, to counter the grey economy and tax fraud.
Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Toman has assured the public that despite
the severe drought, which experts say is the worst in 500 years, the
country’s reserves of drinking water are still adequate. Despite this the
situation is serious and more action is needed urgently, he said.
The water level in streams is between 6 and 30 percent of the long-term April average, although the country’s dams are full. They retain 485 million cubic meters of water, which should secure the country's consumption needs for 18 months.
The Ministry of Agriculture is working to select 31 places where new water reservoirs could be built. Last year, it spent CZK 13.7 billion on measures to fight the drought.
This year's damage to agricultural crops caused by drought will probably be greater than last year, Toman said, with losses of up to 40 percent in some areas.
The State Institute of Public Health and the Institute of Clinical and
Experimental Medicine are developing a vaccine for Covid-19, Health
Minister Adam Vojtěch said at a press briefing in Prague on Monday. The
research is still in its laboratory phase. If it proves successful the
Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine will start testing the
vaccine on mice. Clinical tests on humans should take over 18 months.
Minister Vojtěch said the Health Ministry will co-finance the research, which is expected to cost tens of millions of crowns.
More than 80 vaccines are being developed worldwide, some of which could also be tested in the Czech Republic. The health minister said that despite this, and given the probability of a second and third wave of the pandemic, it was important for the country to be self-sufficient in this respect since demand for the vaccine in the world would be overwhelming.
Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic patients with Covid-19 are receiving the experimental drug Remdesivir, which has been approved by the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
Czech researchers are looking for traces of the coronavirus in wastewater,
after its presence in sewage was detected in Austria, the Netherlands and
Studies abroad suggest that the virus is present in excrements even during the incubation period of infected individuals. Higher concentrations of the virus in wastewater correspond to a higher number of infected people who contribute to the sewer system in the given area, providing a cheap and reliable early warning system of approaching outbreaks.
Czech researchers are testing samples from 17 wastewater plants around the country, serving some 700,000 inhabitants.
The mobile app eRouska, which should facilitate and speed up the process of
looking for people who are at risk of infection due to contact with an
infected person, is now available for iPhone users, a spokesperson for the
COVID19CZ initiative which developer the app told journalists.
Mobile users with operating systems Android were able to download it a fortnight ago. 160,000 people have installed it in their phones.
The app which is based on the Bluetooth technology saves anonymized data into the owner’s phone about mobile devices with the same application which were recently in its vicinity.
If the user gives permission, health officers will be able to pair individual identification numbers with phone numbers to contact potentially infected citizens. The mobile app is part of the smart quarantine project launched nationwide on May 1.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 26 on Sunday to 7,781 the
Czech Health Ministry reported. 249 people have died and 3587 have
recovered from the disease. Although the daily increase is slightly higher
than on Saturday, epidemiologists say the situation remains stable.
The highest number of infected individuals is in Prague which registers 1754 infected persons, but the Karlovy Vary region, in the western part of the country, leads in the highest number of infected persons per 100,000 inhabitants which is currently 129. Over 265,000 people have been tested altogether.
Children’s summer camps, currently banned due to the coronavirus
epidemic, could take start in July, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš told Czech
Television on Sunday. He said the situation should be clear by the end of
From May 11, social, sporting and cultural events of up to 100 people will be permitted. Epidemiologist Rastislav Maďar, head of the working group on quarantine measures, said larger summer camps may have to be divided into smaller units. About a quarter million children take part in summer camps each year.
Due to the coronavirus, in place of the usual parades and military convoys,
Pilsen broadcast a live program online to celebrate the city’s liberation
by the US Army and the end of World War II.
Although Pilsen has postponed grand celebrations for a year, a dozen military Jeeps and other vehicles with crews in period U.S. uniforms passed through the city before noon on Sunday, Rudolf Bayer, chairman of the Pilsen Military Car Club, told ČTK.