Government declares state of emergency
The resigned government has declared a state of emergency in the Czech Republic due to the acceleration of the coronavirus epidemic. It will be valid for 30 days from midnight today. From Friday evening, the organization of Christmas markets is prohibited, except for the sale of trees and carp. Restaurants, bars and clubs must be closed from 22:00 until 05:00 from Friday. A maximum of 1000 seated people will be able to attend cultural performances, sports matches and educational events, and 100 people at other mass events.
The future government will respect the measures, but according to its AntiCovid team, they are being taken in confusion. Entrepreneurs usually criticize the planned steps. According to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (YES), compulsory vaccination of certain professions and age groups is inevitable. It will probably be mandatory for people over the age of 60, and over the age of 50 will be discussed. Vaccines for children aged five to 11 will arrive in the Czech Republic before Christmas.
The cabinet initially considered that the state of emergency, along with the measures, would apply from Sunday midnight. However, according to Babiš, the current epidemic situation justifies an immediate announcement. The Government must immediately inform the Chamber of Deputies of the declaration of a state of emergency, which may cancel the declaration. Babiš said that the decision had already been delivered to the lower house of Parliament.
The epidemic in the Czech Republic has been accelerating for several weeks. Tests on Wednesday confirmed 18,004 cases of covid, the highest Wednesday since the epidemic began. There are almost 6,000 patients with hospitals in the hospital, 850 people are in serious condition. The worst situation is in Moravia. Some medical facilities are on the verge of their capacity, which is also why rescuers today transported 19 patients from congested Brno hospitals to Prague.
According to the Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch (for YES), the epidemic will worsen in the coming weeks, the culmination is expected around Christmas. At the beginning of December, there can be up to 1,100 people in hospitals in intensive care units in one day. If the government did not take any action today, the situation would be even worse, according to the minister.
All measures announced by the government today apply from 18:00 on Friday. In shopping malls, people will only be able to take food with them, consumption in dining areas will be prohibited. This does not apply to separate restaurant areas. People will not be allowed to drink alcohol in public. The ban on markets applies to those that are set up specifically for the pre-Christmas period. The year-round markets will be able to remain open, but they will not be able to eat and drink there.
Visitors to all mass events will continue to be required to prove with a complete vaccination against the covidid or proof of past illness in the last six months. Funerals will be without a limit on the maximum number of participants. But the limit of 100 people will apply, for example, for celebrations, parties or balls.
The government has also approved work duties for paramedics from non-covid-19 facilities. Valid from Friday, November 26. Vojtěch assumes that in most cases it will be voluntary help. The obligation will not apply to general practitioners for adults and children and adolescents, dentists and gynecologists, ie registering doctors, and hospice care workers.
According to Babiš, compulsory vaccination of certain professions and age groups should apply from 1 February 2022. Professions in health and social services, police officers, soldiers and firefighters are considered professions. According to Babiš, the European Commission recommended that the vaccination certificate be valid for nine months after the second dose. He expects the Ministry of Health to adjust it as well.
The first 300,000 doses of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine for children aged five to 11 will arrive in the Czech Republic in the week of December 20. Recommendations for vaccine approval were made today by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). In the Czech Republic, about 390,000 children would be vaccinated. The Czech Vaccinological Society is finalizing recommendations for vaccinating these children. The dose for them will be about a third.
The Regional Hospital in Krnov in the Bruntál region stopped all planned operations due to the high number of patients with covid. In the region, hospitals in Ostrava, Karviná and Frýdek-Místek, for example, have previously reported care restrictions. In the South Moravian Region, hospitals in Hodonín and Ivančice in the Brno region have reached the edge of capacity. This week, Vyškov Hospital declared a state of extreme emergency, and Kyjov Hospital declared a state of mass disability.
But the situation is also bad in the capital. Thomayer University Hospital also stops long-term planned non-acute services, and Bulovka University Hospital postpones them. From Monday, the University Hospital in Motol will also stop the planned surgical care.