Daily news summary
PM advises Czechs against travel to Italy
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has urged Czech citizens not to travel to Italy and to stay at home for two weeks if they return from the country. Mr Babiš made the statement on his Twitter account following his meeting with deputy health minister Roman Prymula on Friday.
"This measure is essential to prevent uncontrolled spreading of coronavirus in the Czech Republic," Mr Babiš has said, adding that he will discuss the situation with Prague mayor and regional governors later in the day.
So far, state authorities have advised Czechs to avoid four high-risk regions in Italy: Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia Romagna and Piemont. According to the latest information, there are currently 3,858 people infected with coronavirus in Italy and 148 have died.
Ban on disinfectants comes into effect on Friday
A ban on the export of disinfectants comes into effect in the Czech Republic on Friday. The measure concerns all producers of disinfectants and will remain in place until further notice. According to the Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch, the goal of the measure is to ensure sufficient domestic supply and also to prevent profiteering.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health announced it was prohibiting the export of all FFP3-class respirators outside the country and their sale to all but medical and social facilities, public health protection bodies, integrated rescue services and other state administration bodies.
First "community transmission" of coronavirus confirmed in Czech Republic
The Ústí nad Labem regional hygiene station on Friday confirmed the first case of community transmission of coronavirus in the Czech Republic. The patient, a woman, contracted the virus from her son, who had returned from a skiing holiday in Italy and is currently hospitalised at Prague’s Bulovka hospital. The woman was brought to a hospital in Ústí nad Labem and is reported to be in good condition. There are currently 70 people in quarantine in the region of Ústí nad Labem.
Jiří Šedivý appointed new EDA Chief Executive
Former Czech Defence Minister Jiří Šedivý was appointed new Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency. He will assume office next month.
Mr Šedivý, who is 56, served in the past as deputy minister for European Affairs of the Czech Republic and permanent representative of the Czech Republic to NATO. He currently works at the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs as special representative for for combating disinformation and hostile foreign influences.
As an expert, he also played an important role in the Czech Republic’s accession to NATO. It was during this period that he served as external adviser to President Václav Havel.
One World festival underway in Prague
The annual One World festival of human rights documentary films got underway in Prague on Thursday evening under the motto “Not till a hot January”, addressing environmental issues. Now in its 22nd year, the festival will be screening 133 documentaries from 60 countries, and will bring more than 130 festival guests to the Czech capital.
At the opening event at Prague’s Lucerna cinema, the People in Need foundation presented its annual human rights award Homo Homini to the jailed Tajik lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov for his commitment to defending basic human rights and to assure a fair trial to all citizens of Tajikistan. The prize, presented by Ukrainian director and former political prisoner Oleg Sentsov, was accepted by Yorov’s brother.
After coming to a close in Prague, the One World festival will move on to 35 other Czech towns and cities.
Average wage up by 6.7 percent in Q4 of 2019
The average gross monthly salary in the Czech Republic increased by 6.7 precent in the last quarter of this year to 36,144, according to data released by the Czech tatistics Office on Friday.
In real terms, taking into account inflation, wages increased by 3,6 percent. However, two thirds of Czech employees earn less than the average wage. The median wage, a midway between the highest and the lowest levels, was CZK 31, 202, up by 6.6 percent compared to the same period last year.
Some 80 percent of employees earned wages between CZK 15, 365 and CZK 58,398.As for salaries in the capital, Prague, the average monthly wage reached CZK 44,237 crowns in the last quarter of 2019.
Saturday is expected to be partly cloudy to overcast with daytime highs ranging between 3 and 7 degrees Celsius.