Daily news summary
Coronavirus: Czech cases rose by 373 on Friday, up 10-20 pct daily last week
The number of coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic rose by 373 on Friday, the largest number in a single day. On average last week, the number rose by 10 to 20 percent daily, according to the Ministry of Health.
As of Saturday morning, there were 2,422 confirmed infections, 11 people had recovered from the coronavirus, and 9 people (mostly with existing health conditions) had died of it. So far, 36,374 tests have been carried out.
Meanwhile, another retirement home has reported a large number of cases and been place in quarantine: a facility near Havlíčkův Brod said 10 residents and 2 staff members tested positive.
According to the Association of Social Service Providers, 90 percent of retirement homes and similar facilities do not have high-standard (FFP3) respirators.
Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch said on Twitter on Thursday that the ministry would send 200,000 respirators to senior homes that night.
Coronavirus: President Zeman rejects call to grant amnesty to prisoners
President Miloš Zeman has rejected a call to grant amnesty to prisoners serving short sentences for minor offences, aimed at reducing high concentrations of people during the coronavirus pandemic.
His spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said on Twitter that Zeman, “unlike his two predecessors, is a fundamentally opposed to blanket amnesties” and further thinks it’s a bad idea given the current epidemiological and economic situation.
Petr Toman, a partner in the law firm Toman, Devátý & Partneři, sent the proposal to the president on Thursday. Among other things, it also suggesting granting amnesty to some people under house arrest.
Meanwhile, the Prison Service has distributed sewing machines and other equipment to prisoners so they can make protective facemasks for themselves and others.
Prague crime rate drops due to state of emergency, penalties rise
Crime has fallen in the Czech capital since the state of emergency was declared, with the Prague 3-Žižkov district even recording a drop of up to 50 percent over the past 14 days, iRozhlas.cz reported.
Prague Police spokesperson Eva Kropáčová told the Czech Radio news server that speculation on social networks that thieves would take advantage of quarantine measures has proven false.
Police are monitoring social networks for hoaxes and alarmist postings, and have warned that related offences are punishable by up to eight years in prison.
Under the state of emergency, sentences for shoplifting, burglary and some petty crimes have temporarily risen threefold or more. The aim is especially to deter the theft of food and other essentials.
Czechs to join in annual ‘Earth Hour’ campaign on Saturday night
Czechs will join millions of people around the globe in turning off their lights for 60 minutes on Saturday night for the Earth Hour campaign against climate change.
In the Czech Republic, the hour begins at 8:30pm. Some of the capital’s best-known landmarks, including Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square and the Žižkov TV tower, will go dark.
The lights will be turned off at these sights in the order of their creation, starting from the 12th century to the 21st century, each of which is represented by a particular site.It aims to show that humankind would not have gotten this far without a hospitable environment.
Prague and other cities around the country first marked Earth Hour in 2012. Over 150 towns and cities are expected to join the campaign this year.
Travelling Czech circus stuck in Latvia ‘overwhelmed’ by helps from strangers
A travelling Czech circus stuck in Latvia due to the coronavirus lockdown has been “overwhelmed by the support of strangers helping”, who have helped to feed the troupe and their animals, AFP reports.
The family-run Circus Alex has toured Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland each spring and summer for years. It has been unable to perform or return home since borders were closed in mid-March.
Circus owners turned to social media to ask for help to feed their three horses, horned goat, llama and themselves. An equestrian club located on the outskirts of Riga is sheltering the circus.
Daylight saving time: Clocks go forward in Czech Republic on Sunday
“Spring forward, fall back”. The annual shift to daylight saving time takes place in the Czech Republic on Sunday at 2:00am, when clocks are reset to 3:00am.
The time shift could be the country’s last. The European Parliament voted last spring to end it in the EU from 2021, leaving it to member states to choose summer or winter time as their standard.
Opponents of the time switch claim it is harmful to human health as it disturbs people’s natural biorhythms.
Sunday should be cool and cloudy, with daytime highs of 6 to 8 degrees Celsius.