Daily news summary
Czech study shows few unreported Covid-19 cases nationwide
The number of unreported Covid-19 cases in the Czech Republic is quite low, only a few people per thousand, according to preliminary results of a large-scale Ministry of Health collective immunity study.
The study is based on a representative sample test among 26,549 people, 107 of whom were found to have acute coronavirus infections.
The highest incidence of infections (less than 5 percent) was recorded in the Moravian town of Litovel, which had been under quarantine several weeks ago, and the lowest in the regional capital, Brno.
Samples were also taken in Prague, which has the greatest number of cases, and in Litoměřice, Olomouc and Uničov, a town near Litovel. Roughly According to a third who tested positive had no symptoms.
Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch told a news conference on Wednesday that attention must focus on local sources of noted infection, such as in Cheb region, and recently also Prague, as gradual easing of containment measures continues.
Govt. prepares law to maintain measures after state of emergency
The Czech government is preparing special legislation under which it can maintain measures aimed at curbing Covid-19 even after a state of emergency ends on May 17. Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said work had begun on the bill after a meeting of lawyers from his department, the Ministry of the Interior and the government.
Mr. Vojtěch said the law would be temporary and would allow the government to approve special measures in connection with the coronavirus. He will present it to the cabinet on Thursday.
While the state of emergency will conclude in a week and a half, some restrictions will stay in place until May 25. On that date restaurants, cafés, hotels and some other facilities will be allowed to reopen in the final stage of a government road map.
EC forecasts Czech economy will contract by 6.2 pct in 2020
The European Commission estimates Czech economic growth will drop by 6.2 percent this year due to measures to contain on the spread of the novel coronavirus, a steeper drop than during the 2009 global financial crisis.
In its regular spring macroeconomic estimate, the EU executive arm writes that apart from a decline in production, the export-oriented Czech economy will also suffer due to reduced foreign demand. Real GDP is expected to gradually recover in 2021 but not rebound to 2019 levels.
Czech unemployment is expected to rise to around 5 percent next year, while inflation should fall slightly, mainly due to declining oil prices and lower demand. At the end of 2019, the unemployment rate stood at 2.9 percent.
By comparison, the European Union’s economy is expected to contract by a record 7.4 percent this year. Unemployment in the bloc on average could climb to 9 percent this year.
Zeman: Russian response excessive but Prague politicians’ actions stupid
President Miloš Zeman says Russian agencies’ efforts to take legal action against Prague politicians over divisive statues constitute an excessive response. But speaking on Czech Radio he said the situation had been provoked by the stupidity of insignificant local politicians, adding that he doubted there were serious reasons three mayors needed police protection.
Mr. Zeman was referring to the removal of a monument to Red Army commander Ivan Konev in Prague 6 and the construction of one to the Vlasov army on the outskirts of the city. The mayors of the two areas in question and the mayor of Prague are under police guard due to fears for their safety.
MPs approve bill for maths not to be compulsory leaving exam subject
Mathematics may no longer be a compulsory subject for Czech leaving exams to earn a high school high school. MPs approved a government proposal on the matter on Wednesday within the framework of an amendment to the Education Act.
If the Senate also approves the bill, high school students will be able to choose between taking a leaving exam in mathematics or a foreign language. The state exam should be limited to didactic tests.
Press: Taxi driver taking Czech Foreign Minister home dies after crash
A taxi driver taking Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček home on Wednesday night died after a crash. The Czech diplomat was unhurt, the news server Blesk.cz reports.
Paramedics called to the scene spent 30 minutes trying to resuscitate the 62-year-old driver, who had crashed into a parked car on Nuselská Street at low speed.
Police are investigating the incident. According to Blesk, the driver likely had health issues.
Replica of Prague’s 17th century Marian column to be completed early
A replica of the Marian column removed from Prague’s Old Town Square over a century ago should be completed by August 15, a month ahead of schedule, said sculptor Petr Váňa, because work could continue in the absence of traditional Easter markets.
The original 17th century Marian column was torn down by protestors shortly after Czechoslovakia was founded in 1918 who considered it a symbol of Austrian rule. Work started in February after years of heated debate over whether to install a replica.
MPs due to postpone EET sales records system until end-2020
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, the government wants to temporarily scrap electronic sales records system, a project that Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has long championed as being key to reducing tax evasion.
MPs are expected to approve the decision to postpone the EET project, which Babiš introduced in 2016 when he was finance minister, until the end of 2020. It is part of a set of measures aimed at helping small companies.
The EET was to be introduced in three stages over a number of years, starting in December 2016, when it applied to restaurants and accommodation facilities.
As of March 2017, it also became mandatory for wholesalers and retailers. The final stage will apply to craftspeople and food producers.
Thursday should be cool and cloudy in the morning, with the sun emerging in the afternoon. Daytime highs should range from 15 to 17 degrees Celsius.