Covid-19: controversial Czech doctor-driven petition says restriction pose greater health risk

A public dispute over Covid-19 has erupted among Czech medical professionals in recent days, after a group of prominent doctors signed a public petition demanding the government stop scaring people. Among the signatories are Ladislav Fiala, head of the Czech Medical Homeopathic Society, heart surgeon Jan Pirk, psychiatrist Radkin Honzák and Roman Šmucler, chairman of the Dental Chamber.

The petition says in part, “We see a much greater danger to the overall health of the people stemming from drastic government measures than from the coronavirus as such.” More than 51,000 people have signed their petition over the past six days, Czech Radio reports.

Minister of Health Roman Prymula – an epidemiologist – said he found the petition drive to be “completely irresponsible” noting that none of the doctors behind are experts in the field. He wrote on Twitter that they do not understand the basic facts, noting “In the last month, the number of deaths per day has increased tenfold from 2 to 20”.

Prymula is due to announce a raft of stricter measures on Friday aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus. Meanwhile, Chamber of Physicians head Milan Kubek called on Czechs to act responsibly and respect measures. In an open letter, Kubek said that the current uptick is very worrying and arose due “to our carelessness, as well as to mistakes made by political leaders”.

Author: Brian Kenety