COVID-19 Updates

Central Crisis Staff Head predicts 8500 cases by the end of March

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About 8,500 cases of coronavirus can be expected by the end of March –  and if the figures are lower, the strict measures will start to be eased in another ten days in the Czech Republic, Deputy Health Minister and Central Crisis Staff head Roman Prymula told Czech Television today.

After Easter, the Czech Republic will launch a new testing system to be joined by the military, he added.

Like Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD), Prymula believes that the government will have to regulate commuting abroad.

The new testing system will be based on five coordinators. “One for laboratories, one for the sanitary system and so on,” Prymula said.

Thanks to the participation of laboratories, including those of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, the capacity will be 1,000 tests a day.

Testing techniques are being developed thanks to which the Czech Republic will be able to be separated from the deliveries of tests and reactive substances from abroad.

“We will be increasingly dependent on what we will be able to ensure ourselves. However, this cannot be started to be done by the people who are not used to work in an infectious environment,” virologist Ivan Hirsch, the head of the Department of Genetics and Microbiology of the Faculty of Science of Charles University, said.

Prymula said the military would join the efforts. It will track down all contacts of the infected people and isolate them, which will enable the easing of the strict measures that limit the movement and provision of services.

The government will have to regulate commuting from the Czech Republic to neighboring Germany and Austria for work. “I have the data from some regions that up to 10 percent of commuters are infected,” Prymula said.

At the time Czechs were returning from Italy and Austria in early March, there was a daily increase of the infected of over 45 percent, which was worse than in Italy, he added.

“Now a part of the people to be repatriated from abroad will be in quarantine in a single place because quarantine is often ignored,” Prymula said.

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