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Pavel Burian

September 18, 2020 Politics

Daily COVID-19 cases soar past 3,000 in the Czech Republic

Daily COVID-19 cases soar past 3,000 in the Czech Republic - Czech Points

The sharp increase in confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Czech Republic continues. The daily growth on Thursday exceeded 3,000 for the first time. In a single day, tests showed an infection in 3,130 people, which is similar to the total for all of March. Since the beginning of September, the disease has been detected in 19,539 people, and since the beginning of the epidemic in 44,155 people.

There are currently 20,289 infected people in the Czech Republic; most of them have mild or no symptoms. According to the Ministry of Health.

The number of hospitalized and serious patients with COVID is also growing.

According to the latest available data from Wednesday, there are 413 people with infections in hospitals, 91 of whom are serious. Since Tuesday, the number of hospitalized patients has increased by 25 and severe cases by ten. According to the Ministry of Health, hospitals can handle many times more patients with COVID-19 than now, even in serious cases. The number of people who died with COVID is also increasing. There are a total of 489 victims, with four more deaths on Thursday.

According to Ladislav Dušek, director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (IHIS), there may be about 44,000 new cases in September according to more optimistic models, and up to 70,000 according to less optimistic ones. Face masks, hand washing, and spacing can reduce the virus’s spread by up to half.

The number of infected people also grew significantly last week, when the daily increase exceeded the 1,000 for the first time. Since then, except for Sunday, more than a thousand confirmed diseases had increased daily. But more was tested. In August, the number of tests per day only exceeded 10,000, while last week, the laboratories performed more than 15,000 tests every day from Tuesday to Thursday, a record 19,000 on Friday. On Wednesday, they managed 17,890 samples, and the ministry will inform about the number of tests on Thursday evening. According to Minister Adam Vojtěch, the laboratories’ capacity is 20,700 per day, and the target is 25,000.

According to Dušek, the first sign of an improvement in the epidemic situation will reduce the share of new cases in the number of tests. On Wednesday, the percentage reached almost 12 percent. The day before, it was less than ten percent, and on Monday, over six percent, while on weekends, it was also around 11 percent.

The disease is now most prevalent in Prague and the adjacent Central Bohemian districts, but also the Kroměříž, southern Plzeň, Uherské Hradiště, and Cheb regions. In Prague, hygienists have confirmed 191 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days, followed by the Kroměříž region with 171 cases, the districts of Prague-East, Prague-West, Pilsen-South, and Uherské Hradiště have more than 150 infected per 100,000 inhabitants.

From September 10, due to the deteriorating epidemic situation, the obligation to wear a face mask in buildings’ interior applies throughout the Czech Republic. Due to the growing number of infected and hospitalized, the state introduces further general measures from today. Indoor mass events for more than ten people will be banned. Exceptions are exhibitions, markets, and similar events.

Students and teachers must also wear face coverings in the classroom, except for primary school. Restaurants and bars throughout the country will remain closed between midnight and six o’clock in the morning.

People should follow the basic rules of hygiene. Minister Vojtěch urged them to be considerate and to limit participation in larger events as much as possible.

According to the ministry, the most common infection places are the family and the work environment, and attending social events, such as family celebrations and weddings, is also a risky activity. More than a fifth of recent cases have come from schools.