The number of people in the Czech Republic infected with the new coronavirus has climbed to 21, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Saturday afternoon. The minister of health, Adam Vojtěch, said earlier in the day that just under 600 people were being examined for Covid-19 at present.
The government has extended a compulsory two-week quarantine period for people returning to the Czech Republic from Italy to also include those who have permanent or temporary residence in this country. Previously the provision only applied to Czech citizens. Most cases of Covid-19 in the Czech Republic can be traced to Italy.
Speaking after a meeting of a crisis committee convened over the coronavirus situation, the prime minister said that police would carry out random temperature checks on drivers entering Czech territory.
The minister of health said the number of people in the Czech Republic known to have the virus would increase further in the coming days.
The work of Czech dentists is being complicated by a shortage of facemasks and in particular respirators and the Czech Dental Chamber has now issued special guidelines in view of the coronavirus situation, Právo reported on Saturday. Dentists have been advised that unless there is an acute need they should not treat patients who have returned from Italy and should reschedule such appointments.
The Dental Chamber also says that its members who do not have state of the art equipment and respirators ought to extract teeth that are placing patients’ lives in danger rather than trying to repair them.
Events were held in the Czech Republic on Saturday marking the 170th anniversary of the birth of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the founder and first president of Czechoslovakia. President Miloš Zeman, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Chamber of Deputies speaker Radek Vondráček and Senate speaker Miloš Vystrčil laid wreathes at Masaryk’s tomb at Lány near Prague. A new exhibition on TGM was also launched at a museum dedicated to him in the town.
The hometown of the “president liberator”, Hodonín in Moravia, held events in his honour, including a gathering at a memorial to him attended by members of the Masaryk family.
The annual Czech Lion film awards are set to take place at Prague’s Rudolfinum on Saturday evening. Owners by Jiří Havelka has the most nominations with 12, followed by Václav Marhoul’s The Painted Bird with 11 and Old-Timers by Martin Dušek and Ondřej Provazník, which is in the running for 10 prizes.
Among those presenting the awards will be Eduard Marek, a one-time member of the anti-Communist resistance and political prisoner, and Simon Mawer, a British writer whose novels have explored Czech themes.
The winter just ending was the second warmest on record at the Clementinum weather station in central Prague since 1775, the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute said on Saturday. The average temperature recorded during the winter was 5.1 degrees Celsius; the warmest winter on record in Prague, in 2006/2007, saw an average temperature of 5.8 degrees Celsius.
Last month was the warmest February in the Czech capital since 1775, the meteorologists said.
Kladno ice hockey club, featuring veteran star Jaromír Jágr, have been relegated from the Czech Extraliga after a single season in the top flight. Jágr’s hometown club went down after losing 2-6 in a face-off to decide relegation against Litvínov on Friday evening.
After the game NHL legend Jágr, who is now 48, said he was weighing up his future and whether it was worth continuing to play in the Czech league.
It should be overcast in the Czech Republic on Sunday, with temperatures of up to 7 degrees Celsius. It is then expected to remain cloudy, with daytime highs reaching up to 15 degrees Celsius likely later in the week.