Daily news summary
Number of registered COVID-19 cases grew on Friday, but only slightly
As of Saturday morning, there were 7,273 total registered cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the Czech Republic. Some 2,389 patients have recovered. Friday saw 86 new cases registered in the country, the first increase in day-to-day registered cases this week.
Six patients died on from Friday to Saturday morning, which brings the total death toll from COVID-19 in the country up to 215.
The highest number of registered infections is in Prague, lying at 1,676 cases.
Month of coronavirus lockdown saw 11 percent of Czechs lose their job, survey shows
Around 11 percent of Czechs have lost their jobs during the month following a government lockdown on much of the service and entertainment sectors put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. A further 12 percent are no longer receiving their salaries on time. This according to an online survey conducted by research agency Behavio for the period between March 16, the day the government lockdown entered into effect, and April 14.
The survey also suggests that 34 percent of Czechs ran out of their savings during this period and close to a half of respondents said they only have enough money left for one month.
Fear of an economic crisis resulting from the pandemic was registered among 49 percent of respondents, while 43 percent, said they fear the disease itself. Meanwhile, 25 percent of respondents said that they do not believe they will be affected by any resulting economic crash.
Drought registered across 94 percent of Czech territory
According to the latest research conducted by meteorologists, 94 percent of Czech territory has been affected by drought to some degree in recent weeks. While rainfall reached average rates in March, this was only during the first half of the month and hot weather coupled with strong winds dominated the later half of the month. These conditions grew more intense during the first half of April, Czech Television reported on Saturday.
The last few weeks have seen little rainfall, ranging only in single digit millimeters in the northern and noth-eastern parts of the country, where some regions have been hit by what is classified as extreme drought. In other parts of the country the situation is not much better, according to Czech Television.
Experts have been pointing out that drought is not just present in the Czech Republic, but is a wider, Central European problem. The risk of forest fires has been classified as medium to medium-high in the region.
Sampling capacity among over 40s full in Prague and Brno, but more young volunteers needed for coronavirus study
In Prague, enough over 40s and seniors have taken part in the ongoing government study of collective immunity to the COVID-19 coronavirus, researchers told Czech Television on Sunday. In Brno, the allocated testing capacity for seniors (over 60s) has been filled up as well.
However, testing facilities in both cities are saying that they need more volunteers from the ranks of children and teenagers between the ages of 8-17. A special testing facility will be available for this age group in Prague’s Kateřinské Gardens from 10am on Sunday.
In Olomouc, where the tests are most visited by adults under the age of 60, volunteers from the ranks of seniors are still needed.
The tests are part of a major study launched by the Ministry of Health earlier this week, which seeks to gauge the percentage of the Czech population that has COVID-19 antibodies. A total of 27,000 people are set to be tested during a two-week period.
Škoda Auto: Production to restart in Czech Republic starting April 27
Czech car manufacturer Škoda Auto has announced that after more than a month of suspended manufacturing it will resume production from Monday, April 27.
This will be done while maintaining around 80 individual precautions that have been defined in cooperation with its social partner KOVO Union to keep its workforce healthy and to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The safety measures include the wearing of face masks, which will be provided by Škoda, and the regular disinfecting of company premises.
The safety measures will gradually be reduced in three stages. Their precise timing will depend on the development of the coronavirus crisis.
Czech Railways to restart some connections on Sunday
Czech Railways (České dráhy) has announced it will be reinstating four connections starting Sunday. These are the lines from Prague to Břeclav, Cheb, Karlovy Vary and Valašsko. Further connections will be restarted depending on public demand, the largest Czech rail company informed in a Friday press release.
The move follows a government announced easing of coronavirus counter-measures as the number of cases has been falling in recent days.
Two men die in airplane crash in Milotice
A small airplane crashed near the Moravian town of Milotice on Friday evening, killing both male passengers, the Czech News Agency reports.
A rescue team was sent to the location immediately after the crash, which occured around 6pm, but both men were dead by the time the team arrived.
The aircraft was on fire when the team came to the location, but it is thus far unclear whether the fire started during the flight or after impact.
A flight inspector is analysing the cause of the crash, the spokesman of the South Moravian Fire Service Filip Venclovský told the Czech News Agency.
Temperatures are expected to hover between 15 to 18 degrees Celsius on Sunday. The west of the country will see sunny, blue skies, while in the central and eastern regions it will be cloudy. Winds will reach speeds of between 3 to 7 kilometers an hour.