New measures aimed at combating the spread of the new coronavirus were introduced in the Czech Republic on Monday morning. Police, fire and customs officer have begun carrying out random temperature tests of drivers at 10 border crossings. Information leaflets in Czech, German English are being handed out to motorists entering the country.
The Czech News Agency reported that general practitioners could expect full waiting rooms on Monday as people following government guidelines returned after the weekend from holidays in Italy.
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Czech Republic stands at 32. The minister of health, Adam Vojtech, said 141 people had been tested for the infection on Sunday out of a total of nearly 1,000. The country’s first three coronavirus cases were announced eight days ago.
The Ministry of Health has banned visits to general hospital wards and senior homes, with some exceptions, as of Tuesday. The ban is among the emergency measures aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus.
Speaking after Monday’s National Security Council meeting, Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch said exceptions are made for visiting minors, people with limited legal capacity, new mothers, and hospice and terminal patients.
Vojtěch noted that the risk of infection and serious illness due to coronavirus is minimal for children, and so not being able to have visitors could cause them unnecessary stress.
Prague’s famous Charles Bridge was vandalised with graffiti over the weekend. Someone spray-painted “Krakow + Moscow = Prague”, and Sunday’s date, on a bridge arcade on the Lesser Town side.
In July 2019, two German nationals were caught by police tagging a Charles Bridge stone support. They were fined 100,000 crowns each, ordered to pay the clean-up costs, and banned from entering the country for five years.
The granddaughter of Zdeněk Miler, creator of the famous Little Mole cartoon character, has withdrawn her appeal to the Supreme Court over licensing rights.
Karolína Milerová had been trying to win the rights to the Krteček character, as its known in Czech, for more than eight years. She reportedly has now struck a deal with other heirs.
Last March, the High Court in Prague ruled that a contract she signed with her grandfather shortly before his death in 2011 was invalid.
The judges upheld an earlier appeal by a woman who had been authorised to administer Miler’s work five years earlier.
Prague’s Petřín funicular, among the city’s top tourist attractions, was closed on Monday morning for regular maintenance. It is due to reopen on March 28.
The funicular, which runs from Újezd to Petřín Hill, serves more than 2 million riders a year, and is second only to Prague Castle as a tourist destination.
The Prague transport authority said that over the next three weeks the transformer stations, cabins, cableways and rails will be inspected and if necessary repaired.
The Czech unemployment rate dropped to 3 percent in February, after rising slightly for two consecutive months, the Labour Office announced on Monday.
The number of jobseekers dropped nearly 3,000 to 227,369, the lowest number since February 1997.
In the Prague region, unemployment stood at 1.9 percent, as usual the lowest level in the country. The Moravian-Silesian region had the highest level of unemployment at 4.6 percent.
The Czech Republic’s foreign trade surplus fell by CZK 2.4 billion year on year in January to CZK 15.1 billion, data published on Monday by the statistical office show.
The drop stemmed mainly from imports of computer, electronic and optical equipment, and refined petroleum products. Car exports remained robust, the office said.
The Czech trade balance with EU member states ended in a surplus of CZK 72.6 billion. The trade deficit with non-EU countries deepened by CZK 2.3 billion to CZK 56.1 billion.
Czech tennis player Marie Bouzková has lost her first ever final on the WTA circuit. The 21-year-old lost 5-7 6-4 4-6 to number one seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in a three-hour battle in the final of the Monterrey Open in Mexico.
Bouzková, a past junior US Open winner, has now climbed to 47 in the world rankings, her first time in the top 50.
Tuesday should be cloudy to overcast, with a chance of freezing rain or light snow. Daily highs should range from 8 to 12 degrees Celsius.