Current Czech Covid figures among worst in world

Photo: ČTK/Michal Kamaryt

The Czech Republic registered the highest per capita rate of new Covid-19 cases in the world over the last week, when its figure for deaths per million inhabitants was fifth highest. Over 750,000 cases of the virus have now been confirmed since the pandemic hit the country.

The Czech Republic recorded the highest per capita number of new coronavirus cases in the world over the last week, according to international data published by ourworldindata.org/coronavirus.

The country, which is in the throes of a third wave of the pandemic, saw an average of 965 cases a day per one million inhabitants during the seven-day period.

The Czech Republic places fifth in the world in terms of per capita number of Covid-19 deaths in the last week.

On Monday the number who died passed the 12,000 mark, while statistics show that the number of deaths to the end of November 2020 was similar to the figure for an average year.

Meanwhile another sad landmark was reached on Tuesday: the total number of known infections since the pandemic hit in March now exceeds three-quarters of a million. The country has a population of 10.69 million.

Photo: Martin Pařízek / Czech Radio

The one-day record number of new cases – 17,042 – was recorded just last week.

On top of that the number of known active cases at present stands at 121,500, which is the highest number seen since the end of October.

These figures may well be influenced by a programme of free antigen tests that was introduced in mid-December and will conclude in a week and a half’s time.

The scheme is evidently a reason that positive test percentages have shot up in recent weeks.

Unrelated to this, however, is the rise in hospitalisations. The number of people with the virus requiring specialised care has climbed by 940 in the last week to reach just under 6,700 on Monday. Almost 1,000 of those in hospital are in a critical condition.

On Tuesday morning the national Covid risk index stood at 89 points out of a possible 100, a rise of 4 points from the previous day, due to an increase in transmission among the elderly.

This keeps the country in the highest bracket – for level five – on the government’s tiered system of restrictions.

The colour-coded system, which was introduced in mid-November, is currently being overhauled.

Measures such as the closure of restaurants, a 9 pm curfew and a ban on gatherings of more than two were introduced between Christmas and New Year in a bid to contain the third wave of the virus.

Such restrictions will be in place until at least January 10, pending a cabinet assessment of the situation.

Epidemiologist and ex-health minister Roman Prymula says he expects the current wave of infections to reach a peak in the middle of this month.