Government deploys soldiers to enforce anti-covid measures
The government has ordered the deployment of up to 5,000 soldiers and 300 customs officers to help the police in connection with the coronavirus epidemic. Their task will be to assist the law in the security checks of the tightened anti-epidemic measures that apply today. Starting Tuesday, 3,834 soldiers and 270 customs officers will be involved in the inspections, the Ministry of the Interior informed on Twitter.
The government changed the almost year-old resolution, which called up to 4,096 soldiers and 432 customs officers to help the police last spring. At that time, they were deployed guarding closed borders.
According to the General Staff Magdalena Dvořáková, the army has been providing almost 3,900 soldiers to the police since Tuesday. How many of them will be deployed, but it will depend on current police requirements, she said. The situation may vary depending on the conditions in the region. The soldiers will serve in mixed teams with the police.
According to the spokesman, soldiers’ use in inspections will not affect the army’s deployment to help hospitals and social facilities. According to Dvořáková, 517 soldiers in 97 facilities helped in this way this morning, and the military also sent its other members to hospitals in Žatec and Český Krumlov and an orphanage in Mladá Boleslav today. On Tuesday, the soldiers will enter the hospital in Nymburk. The army also helps with antigen testing. So far, soldiers have served in 15 facilities. From today they joined the other five. The military provides 25 mobile subscription teams. Other soldiers then assist in the Smart Quarantine project and recall contacts between people infected with the coronavirus.
The Ministry of the Interior has submitted an amendment to the regulation due to newly adopted measures to restrict people’s movement and contact drastically. It is forbidden to leave the district with exceptions, which the police check at random. “Fulfillment of new security measures means another significant depletion of the forces and resources of the Police of the Czech Republic and thus its at least partial impossibility of fulfilling legal tasks,” the interior said in the explanatory memorandum.
The ministry also pointed out that further restrictions on police forces required the covid-19 disease among police officers. Therefore, according to him, it is clear that it is necessary to increase the number of soldiers called significantly. “On the other hand, after evaluating the current burden and impact on the fulfillment of the tasks of the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic, the number of called-up members of the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic is reduced,” the office said. So far, up to 432 customs officers could be deployed, and it will now be possible to call in 300. The number of deployed soldiers and customs officers will depend on current needs, according to the document.