The ministry of industry and trade and that of regional development have
issued a joint statement dismissing the conspiracy theories that claim 5G
technology helps transmit the coronavirus. The statement says the
information circulating on social networks is complete nonsense and there
is no credible scientific evidence for such a link.
The ministries of the interior and health have also issued statements refuting the connection between 5G and coronavirus and condemning the spread of fake news and scaremongering in connection with the pandemic.
The Czech government has been downplaying financial aid provided by the EU
to entrepreneurs and companies hit by the COVID-19 crisis, the news site
Neovlivni says a substantial part of the aid packages which the government presents as state assistance within the COVID I and II programs are financed by the European Union. In COVID I, close to half of the total sum of one billion crowns, comes from EU funds; COVID II, amounting to five billion crowns, draws entirely on EU finances, according to Magdalena Frouzová from the Czech Representation of the European Commission.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš previously wrote on Twitter that there is nothing to "thank" the European Union for since the money that goes into the COVID programs had already been allocated to the Czech Republic within the 2014-2020 period and had not been used up.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said he will propose increasing state
subsidies for local projects in municipalities in order to make up for the
expenditures liked to coronavirus aid to small and medium-sized businesses.
In the past days municipalities have protested against the government‘s decision that the aid to entrepreneurs is to come from municipal budgets rather than state finances, saying they would lack money for vital local projects.
The prime minister said on Twitter that the state would more than make up for the compensation package by increasing state aid for local projects by 20 percent. He said the arrangement had been the only workable solution legally.
The outbreak in the Silesian Darkov mine, which has been one of the main
centres of the coronavirus pandemic in the Czech Republic over these past
two weeks, seems to be slowing down, according to newly released
information from the Regional Hygienist Office in Ostrava.
As of Sunday evening, 347 people from the mine and nearby settlement had been infected with the coronavirus. Aside from miners, this included some of their family members and workers commuting from abroad. However, Saturday saw just four new infections.
In relation to the outbreak, hygienists ordered increasing the rate of disinfection in the public places of surrounding towns and districts. Some towns, such as nearby Karviná asked people to stay in quarantine and not to leave their homes.
This Monday will see seniors in Czech high schools begin taking their final
exams (Maturita), specifically in mathematics, French and English.
According to the Education Ministry’s CERMAT centre, which organises the exams, some 68,036 students have registered to take the tests this year. A further 9,200 will be taking exams at a later date. The exams were originally supposed to begin in May, but were moved to June due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Social Democrats, who are currently in a minority government with Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš’s ANO party, will not support the government’s
proposal to ease the legislation regarding the issuing of some public
tenders, the leader of the Social Democrat deputies in the lower house Jan
Chvojka told Czech Television on Sunday. He said future support could only
come if the current proposal were further amended by the Chamber of
Meanwhile, Pavel Kováčik,the leader of the deputies of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, which supports the minority government, said that his party would be in favour of the proposed change in legislation. However, only under the condition that it would be used in a state of crisis, such as the one declared during the coronavirus pandemic.
The government justified the amendment by saying it would ease the administrative burden on issuing tenders in times of crisis. The proposal has been condemned by anti-corruption organisations Transparency International and Reconstruction of the State (Rekonstrukce státu).
Speaker of the Senate Miloš Vystrčil of the Civic Democrats said on TV
Prima he will take a decision about whether to travel to Taiwan at the
latest by the end of June. He said he will first discuss the idea with
foreign policy experts, economists and human rights advisors.
The trip to Taiwan had been planned already by his predecessor Jaroslav Kubera, who then died suddenly in January. The trip has been heavily opposed by the Chinese Embassy and the Czech president. China does not recognise Taiwan and there are fears, as stated in a letter from the Chinese Embassy, but possibly penned by the Office of the President according to some media reports, that the trip would result in punishing economic measures by China on Czech businesses.
Mr Vystrčil said after a meeting with President Zeman two weeks ago that, if China dictates terms, his trip to Taiwan will become “ever more realistic”.
Some 56 percent of adults in the Czech Republic and 13 percent of children
do not wear a helmet when cycling, according to a new analysis conducted by
the Transport Research Centre in Brno. The latter number is particularly
alarming given the fact that not wearing a helmet among cyclists below the
age of 18 is illegal.
The author of the analysis, Kateřina Bucsuházy, says that the head is the most likely place of injury on the cyclist's body in case of an accident and that if a cyclist wears a helmet their likelihood of an injury statistically decreases by 28 percent.
The massive decline in the number of tourists visiting Prague this year as
a result of coronavirus border restrictions will be felt by the whole
country with many businesses in the service sector also being dependent on
tourism, the Prague Councillor for Culture and Tourism Hana Třeštíková
told Czech Radio’s news site iRozhlas.cz in an interview published on
She said the real size of the losses caused by the pandemic will be counted in the autumn of this year, but she also stressed the positive fact that no large cultural institution has thus far been forced to close.
Ms Třeštíková also said that the sudden crash in tourism could be used as an opportunity to reform some of the tourist locations in Prague, removing what has been called the “visual smog” in the capital, such as the many Thai massage parlours.
Earlier this week, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib posted on his Facebook account that the city had created a new “Manual for a Cultivated Prague”, which delineates visual esthetic practices for the capital’s businesses.