Prime Minister says Czech Republic facing biggest challenge with pandemic
The Czech Republic has never before faced such a challenge as the current coronavirus pandemic, no one was prepared for it and the whole world is learning how to react to it, Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) said in a televised speech today.
Babis thanked citizens for observing the restrictive measures.
The Czech Republic is doing very well and it will certainly control the situation, Babis said.
Babis admitted partial mistakes and problems and asked for lenience.
“The whole world is dealing with a pandemic of enormous reach. All of us are only learning to react. Please, forgive our partial mistakes and problems. There are lots of them. This cannot be helped,” he added.
“This is a crisis situation for which not a single country in Europe was prepared,” Babis said.
Both the government and state institutions are doing their utmost for the protection of the lives and health of citizens, he added.
Babis thanked for the patience with which people accept the restrictive measures, which are not easy for anyone.
“Maybe the measures will take longer than we originally thought. I speak frankly. This is just the state of affairs. But do not be afraid,” he added.
Babis criticized all those arbitrarily violating the restrictive measures adopted to curb the spread of the infection.
He said this was neither bravery nor fun, as it would only prolong the complications now faced by the Czech Republic.
The emergency measures the government has adopted to curb the coronavirus outbreak may take longer than the government expected, Babis said.
Babis said he believed the effect of the measures would soon bring to bear and the nation would control the situation.
Babis thanked all the health staff, police, firefighters and volunteers who provide selfless help to the rest.
All citizens have jointly stood up against the crisis and the nation will also jointly overcome it, he added.
Babis praised the public media for launching instruction programs and the program for the elderly as well as other media that help citizens calm down.
He said it was a good thing that people did not succumb to hysteria.
Babis said with the quarantine, the government was trying to limit contacts among people, lowering the risk of the spread of the infection, while economic life should not be crippled.
He also spoke about the shortage of protective equipment, for which he and Health Minister Adam Vojtech (for ANO) were criticized.
Babis said there was a global shortage of face masks and respirators and they were already unavailable on the global market at the beginning of February.