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Pavel Burian

September 3, 2020 Politics

Czech coronavirus cases increases at fastest pace yet

Czech coronavirus cases increases at fastest pace yet - Czech Points

New coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic are increasing at a record rate. Wednesday’s 649 newly confirmed cases exceeded the highest daily increase of 504 cases on Tuesday and August 21. COVID-19 is now mild in most people, with less than three percent of them in hospitals. In the spring, it was sometimes more than a tenth. Four members of the government are already in quarantine, and so far, five cases of COVID-19, including the chief hygienist, have been confirmed at the Ministry of Health. An extraordinary meeting of the Chamber of Deputies could discuss some proposals that concern coronavirus and its effects in a week.

The Czech Republic now has the highest rate of disease growth from neighboring countries. Daily increases in new cases per million inhabitants are about a third in Germany or Slovakia last week. Record numbers of 24-hour infections are reported by the Hradec Králové and South Moravian regions. For example: In South Moravia, more people with COVID-19 were added in the first two days of September than in May when there was still an emergency. Prague also has a new maximum after Tuesday, 168 infected in 24 hours.

Due to the growing number of new cases, according to the Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch (for YES), it will probably be necessary to take further measures against coronavirus, especially in Prague. The Minister himself is in domestic quarantine due to the infection of the Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic, Jarmila Rážová. The Minister of Industry and Transport Karel Havlíček has already joined it, the Minister of Labor Jana Maláčová, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček will also work preventively from home. They do not have symptoms of the disease, but they may have met an infected person.

Several positive cases were detected at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and one also at the Ministry of Finance. Due to five previously detected infections at the Ministry of Health, hygienists sent 157 people to quarantine or be tested. Vojtěch’s test on Wednesday was negative.

Since the beginning of the disease in the Czech Republic in March, laboratories have detected infection in 26,127 people, while today there are 355 new cases. Four hundred twenty-six patients died with COVID-19, 18,663 recovered. According to data on Tuesday, the number of currently ill patients has exceeded 7,000, 172 of them are in hospitals, of which 40 are in serious condition.

According to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, now is a good time for the state to send respirators and veils to three million pensioners, for example, via the Czech Post. He wants to propose this to the government on Monday. According to its chief Jan Hamáček, the Interior Ministry has secured 70 million veils and eight million FFP2 respirators and is ready to distribute them. In this context, some opposition politicians pointed out that the people had not yet received the veils that government officials had promised them in the spring.

At the initiative of the opposition ODS, KDU-ČSL, TOP 09, and STAN, the deputies will meet at an extraordinary meeting of the Chamber of Deputies next Thursday morning. The eight items on the proposed agenda of the meeting also include the government’s intention to introduce a flat tax for some self-employed persons and a Senate bill on a one-time contribution to the regions of 500 crowns per capita, which would compensate them for the loss of tax revenue due to the coronavirus epidemic. The Civic Democrats want to push for an extension of the waiver of social security contributions for self-employed and small businesses until the end of the year.

TOP 09 wants to discuss the support of living culture at an extraordinary meeting. Dominik Feri is behind the proposal to increase the limit for the payment of health and social insurance from remuneration in work performance agreements. STAN deputies want to push for the fact that it is not necessary to confirm the school’s closure to obtain a nursing allowance if the schools are closed by the state.

An analysis drawing on interviews with more than 250 key representatives of Czech industrial companies showed that a third of companies plan to lay off workers, while others are waiting for the autumn development of the coronavirus’s situation and its effects. Companies currently employ 65 percent of their capacity and expect a utilization rate of 75 percent at the end of the year.