Following warnings by the European Union on the possibility of a bird-flu pandemic, common flu vaccines in the Czech Republic have sold out. Pharmacies throughout the country sold out their vaccines in a single day, with pharmaceutical companies promising new batches in the coming week. However, officials have warned vaccines are only effective against the common flu - not the deadly bird virus. The government, meanwhile, has ordered an additional 600,000 does of Tamiflu vaccine - said to be effective against bird flu - at a cost of 600 million crowns.
The purchase is part of the country's emergency plan, following the European Commission's confirmation that the deadly strain of bird flu, known as H5N1, had been identified in cases in both Turkey and Romania.
Following backing received in a confidence vote by the Czech Doctor's Association on Friday there is good chance the association's President David Rath will be named the country's next health minister. Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said as much on Saturday, describing Mr Rath's chances as "excellent". The outgoing minister, Milada Emmerova, was sacked earlier in the week over continuing problems in health sector finances. Mr Rath, her possible successor, is 39, and is unaffiliated with any political party. He has said if chosen for the post he will respect Social Democrat policies.
A twenty-year-old driver has been taken into custody for a hit-and-run that killed two teenage girls in the early hours of Saturday morning, as they waited outside a discothèque in the north-east Moravian city of Ostrava. Three others were injured, one remains in critical condition. The driver drove away from the scene. The two girls who died were aged 15 and 18. During Saturday police apprehended the hit-and-run suspect at his home; they are investigating reasons behind the accident, including whether the man had been driving drunk.
National football side manager Vlastimil Kostal and team coach Karel Bruckner have welcomed a decision by former team captain Pavel Nedved to return for two matches against Norway in the final play-off preceding the World Cup. Nedved, who retired last year but plays for Italy's Juventus Turin, announced the desire to help his country through the final qualification games. The star midfielder has made no decision on whether to return for the actual World Cup next year, should the Czech Republic win.
The Czechs, currently ranked 4th in the world by FIFA, have been fairly successful in European Championships but last played in the World Cup in 1990.
Sunday is expected to be sunny with daytime temperatures reaching about 9 degrees Celsius.
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