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Coronavirus: lockdown tighter than ever in the Czech Republic

Coronavirus: lockdown tighter than ever in the Czech Republic

Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamacik, Minister of the Interior, confirmed to the public service television station that the government will ask Parliament to extend the state of emergency, which ends at midnight on Saturday, for another month. Hamsik noted that “some of the planned precautions can only be applied in times of emergency.”

He did not want to clarify the expected measures, because he believes that the final decision has not yet been taken in the special cabinet meeting at night, and that the ideas will be discussed first with the opposition. Peter Fiala, president of the Civil Democratic Party (ODS) said They understand that the situation is dangerous, but they can only accept governmental measures if they are strictly justified by the ministers.

It was announced that the Czech government would meet for another extraordinary session on Thursday evening. Already at night, the Cabinet imposed travel bans on dozens of African and South American countries that have a mutation in South Africa of the Coronavirus.

Nova Commercial TV has been informed that all schools, kindergartens, hotels, services and shops will be completely closed for three weeks in March. Population movement will be restricted to certain areas, with the exception of going to work and visiting doctors.

Starting Thursday morning, at least FFP2 respirators must be worn in stores, public transport and medical institutions in the Czech Republic.

In the Czech Republic, tests revealed 13,657 new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, an increase of 2,700 from last week. There are about 7,000 patients in hospitals, of whom 1,400 are critically ill. And Health Minister Jean Platney admitted that Czech hospitals are close to capacity. A further deterioration of the epidemiological situation could lead to a breakdown in hospital care in the coming weeks. Most hospitals have stopped nearly all other services except for acute care.

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The minister pointed out that the main problem is the workload of the medical staff. He stressed that the bed capacity for each of the special Covidus units and intensive care units has practically reached its maximum. On Wednesday, only about 15 percent of the beds were free.

Cover photo: Getty Images

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