Czech Republic reports 15,663 new COVID-19 cases
The Czech Republic reported 15,663 people new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, breaking the record set last Friday. More than 170,000 people are now ill, mostly with a mild course of covid-19. However, the number of hospitalized and deaths continues to increase; there are 2547, according to the Ministry of Health.
Coronavirus deaths have increased more than a hundred every day since last Wednesday. The ministry now reports 98 deaths on Tuesday, but the numbers usually increase with later updates. So far, most patients died on Monday in one day; there were 139. Sunday’s 125 deaths with covid-19 are the second-highest number so far.
The number of hospitalized is also increasing rapidly. According to the latest known figures, there were 578 coronavirus infections per 6,191 patients in hospitals on Mondays than Sundays. Eight hundred ninety-three of them are in a problematic state; the number has increased by 65 in one day. The growing number of hospitalized with covid-19 threatens the capacity of the health care system.
According to data from the National Intensive Care Unit, on Tuesday, almost 73 percent of beds in ICU and ARO wards and over 65 percent of beds with oxygen for lighter hospitalizations were occupied by patients, even with covid-19 other health problems. One hundred devices for artificial lung ventilation have been added to hospitals in the last ten days, yet the spare capacity has decreased slightly. Currently, less than 46 percent are free.
There have been confirmed cases of coronavirus outbreaks in the Czech Republic since the beginning of March in 284,033. One hundred eleven thousand four hundred forty-three people recovered.
“The 15,000 is not completely bad news, however a record,” Hamáček told Radiožurnál Czech Radio today. According to him, the virus has its inertia, and if the daily gains can be stabilized on an average of 14,000 to 19,000 cases, they could start to decline after mid-November. He referred to the models available to the government. “We have to last another 14 days, and we have to be prepared that record numbers will still fall,” he said.
Hamáček would wait until the end of this week to assess whether the epidemic is slowing down. If that were the case, he said, the government would no longer have to tighten the measures massively. “If it turns out that it doesn’t work, that there would be 25,000 cases on Friday, it would be for serious consideration,” he added. Without the slowdown, the measures will have to be reconsidered; the government would have to start shutting down some sectors of the economy, as was the case in Israel, he said.
The latest published models work with data up to October 24. The estimated numbers of around 20,000 tested positive in mid-November correspond to a reproduction number of about 1.1. This figure shows the average number of other people who become infected from one who tested positive. It is currently about 1.36. According to the outgoing Minister of Health Roman Prymula (for YES), a more significant easing of strict measures can be expected when it falls below 0.8 or 1000 new cases per day.
Prymula and the director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics Ladislav Dušek point out the limits of modeling according to the number of positively tested due to the high capture of positive tests from all performed. Prymula said that real numbers could be many times higher. On Monday, he estimated the number of currently infected to be half a million.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, the number of confirmed cases among those tested fell below 30 percent on Monday after six days. However, such a high proportion still suggests that the population is much more infected than hygienists detect. The number of tests dropped to 35,000 on Monday, and the laboratories performed more than 46,000 on weekdays last week. The ministry will announce Tuesday’s number of testers tonight.
In the last week, the infection spread most significantly in the Vsetín region, where hygienists recorded about 1,090 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants. It is followed by Benešovsko with 1054 and Přerovsko, with 1039 infected per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days. This figure is below one thousand; the lowest approximately 307 remains in the Cheb region.
The outgoing Minister of Health Roman Prymula (for YES) said at the weekend that measures against coronavirus would need to be further tightened if Tuesday’s daily increase in those infected did not fall against the figures from Thursday and Friday last week. This did not happen, but the government tightened the restrictions at its Monday meeting.
From today, people are not allowed to leave before 04:59 and after 21:00. Only trips for work, urgent trips to protect life, health, and property, or walking the dog near the place of residence are allowed at this time. The shops with necessities left open by the government must, with some exceptions, close between 20:00 and 05:00 and on Sundays for the whole day. Farmers’ markets are limited. Authorities and companies should order work from home if possible.
On Tuesday, the cabinet decided to ask deputies to extend the emergency state by a month until December 3. The aim is, among other things, to ensure that current government anti-epidemic measures can continue to apply.