A Prague woman in her mid-70s and two men aged 83 and 88 respectively have died after being infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus it was announced through various government and health channels on Wednesday. This brings up the tally of decesed from the virus in the country up to five.
According to Health Minister Adam Vojtěch, the woman suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and was on a ventilation machine. During hospitalization, she reported having met a few weeks earlier with a relative who had returned from Italy, where she lived permanently.
As of 3pm on Wednesday, there were 1,497 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection in the Czech Republic. Health Minister Adam Vojtěch has said that there are 19 people in serious condition and on ventilation machines. Ten people have recovered from the novel coronavirus.
The Czech Army has temporarily withdrawn troops from Iraq due to a significant reduction in operational tasks and security threats, a planned restructuring of the mission and the coronavirus pandemic.
Czech personnel in Iraq comprise mainly a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense (CBRN) training unit and military police training local security forces to fight against the ISIS militia.
The temporary withdrawal concerns 30 soldiers deployed in two missions, Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) and the NATO Mission Iraq (NMI). They arrived at Prague’s military airport on Tuesday night.
Czechs returning from abroad will not go into mass quarantine but instead will be asked to quarantine themselves at home, Health Ministry spokeswoman Gabriela Štěpányová told news site denikn.cz.
The idea of concentrating some of the Czechs who return from Italy during the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic in one place, so as to minimise the risk of the spread, was floated by Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula on Sunday.
However, Ms Štěpányová said that this option is no longer on the table.
Nearly a fifth of all Czechs do not have the financial reserves to last even a month if reduced to living off their savings, newly released results of a survey conducted by Ipsos show. A further 40 percent said they regret not having saved up more for an emergency.
Most of the respondents in the group whose savings are too low to last a month were people below the age of 35.
A quarter of those questioned by the survey said that they have the money to survive for half a year, while 30 percent said they would be able to last for three months. Just over a quarter said they would not be able to finance themselves for more than one month.
Public trust in the government has risen from 65.1 points to 70.1 points in the space of a week, research from the National Pandemic Alarm project shows.
The index numbers rose after the Czech government began with the deliveries of medical equipment to the country and promised to continue to do so as long as it was necessary, sociologist Lucie Vlčková from the Nielsen Admosphere polling agency told news site Seznam Zprávy on Wednesday.
The research also shows that public trust in the Czech government is highest among all of the countries surveyed through the National Pandemic Alarm project. These are Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland.
The Czech Republic also ranked highest in the rate of optimism relating to combating the pandemic, although the pesimism index, based on how Czechs see the COVID-19 outbreak developing, remains at 57.1 percent.
Leading representatives of the book selling industry have turned to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš this Wednesday. They fear an imminent fall in their entire market due to the collapse of the web of the country's web of local bookstores.
They believe that a revival of the market will only be possible months after the current government preventative measures against COVID-19, including a shut-down of all non-vital shops and general quarantine, are recalled. In fact a resurgence in the book market may only came as late as the Christmas season, they say.
This could not only mean the laying off of many of their employees, but also the end of many businesses active in the sector.
In their appeal, leading booksellers on the Czech high streets including Kanzelsberger, Euromedia Group and the Association of Czech Book Sellers and Librarians argue that books are vital for the literacy and education of society.
Czech President Miloš Zeman has called together his advisory council to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the country. The meeting will take place in the president's Lány country residence on Saturday and include Interior Minister Jan Hamáček, Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar and Police President Jan Švejdar, the president's spokesman Jiří Ovčáček informed the Czech News Agency.
The president is expected to receive incoming legislation for signature intended to help in the fight with the ongoing epidemic. This includes a new budget proposal counting on a CZK 200 billion deficit.
Mr Ovčáček says the president will sign the legislation as it is received.
A further plane carrying 24 tons of medical equipment intended to help in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus landed at the Leoš Janáček Airport in Mošnov around Ostrava this Wednesday morning. Further transports are expected to arrive every day until the end of the week.
The load included facemasks and safety suits, Petr Mikel from EGT Express, the company responsible for the logistics of the transport, told the Czech News Agency.
A further aircraft carrying 250,000 respirators delivered by Bamboo Airways from Hanoi in Vietnam will arive later on Wednesday.
Temperatures will rise on Thursday, reaching as high as 14 degrees Celsius in Southern Moravia and 12 degrees in Bohemia. The sky will be cloudy, but no showers are expected.