Daily news summary
No ban on large events over coronavirus situation
The Czech authorities say they will not halt any large-scale events in view of the coronavirus situation. However, the organisers of gatherings of 5,000 people or more will be required to report to regional hygiene agencies, the minister of health, Adam Vojtěch, said after a meeting of the State Security Council on Wednesday morning.
Under a Ministry of Health edict FFP3 type respirators can now only be sold to health and social facilities, public health agencies, rescue services and other state administration bodies. There is also a ban on the export of such respirators.
Five cases of Covid-19 have been detected in the Czech Republic to date. Several dozen people are awaiting the results of tests for the virus.
Czech humanitarian aid to Greece could be sent by end of week, says interior minister
The Czech Republic will do the outmost to prevent a re-run of the migration crisis of 2015 and humanitarian aid in the form of material gathered from Czech firefighter supplies could be sent to Greece by the end of this week, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said in the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday.
He went on to say that the Czech Republic has also offered a lump sum of EUR 1 million in immediate financial aid to Greece and can also offer 20 policemen as part of the Frontex European Border and Coast Guard Agency.
Greece is currently dealing with a new wave of thousands of migrants released by Turkey in a move that has been condemned by the Czech Chamber of Deputies as breaking the 2016 EU-Turkey agreement where Turkey promised to stop migrants moving through their country into Europe in exchange for financial help.
Zeman to attend China 17+1 summit despite previous statement
President Miloš Zeman will take part in a summit in China next month attended by representatives of Central and Eastern European states, the Czech News Agency reported. Mr. Zeman had said in January that he would not go to Beijing for April’s 17+1 summit, in part because of unfulfilled pledges of Chinese investment in the Czech economy.
The president’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, said at that time that Mr. Zeman might reconsider if Chinese representatives were willing to sign deals on specific projects with Czech companies. The news site Seznam Zprávy said Mr. Zeman had been invited to China on a state visit.
More cases of coronavirus in Czech Republic found on Wednesday
Three more cases of coronavirus have been detected in the Czech Republic after tests at the National Reference Laboratory on Wednesday, news site denikn.cz reports.
The first concernes a mother of two from Prague 6 who orginially tested positive for the presence of COVID-19 after taking a private test. She was transefered to Prague's Na Bulovce hospital and the results of the original test have now been confirmed officially by Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula. However, he told Czech Radio that test results regarding new samples taken from her after she was addmitted to the hospital are still pending.
Two relatives of a woman from the Northen Bohemian town of Děčín have also tested positive for the virus, the Ministry of Health reported in a press release according to denikn.cz.
If the new samples taken from the woman from Prague 6 do show themselves as positive, the total number of infected in the country will lie at eight.
Founder of flight bookings website Kiwi.com wins Czech Entrepreneur of the Year award
Oliver Dlouhý, the founder of flight bookings website Kiwi.com, has won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Mr Dlouhý is now set to represent the Czech Republic at Ernst and Young’s international finals for the award in Monte Carlo in June.
Started by Mr Dlouhý in 2012 under the name SkyPicker.com, Kiwi.com has since become a global player in the online flight bookings market with some 2,800 employees and sales revenues worth CZK 28 billion in 2018.
The company has already expanded its services into rail as well as bus line bookings. Its founder says he now wants Kiwi.com to become a global virtual carrier.
National Museum discovers previously unknown recording of first Czechoslovak President T. G. Masaryk
Curators at the National Museum have discovered a previously unknown recording of the first Czechoslovak president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk’s voice while they were digitising the museum’s archive. The 12 minute-long sound is from the president’s speech at Prague Castle on March 7, 1930, when he was celebrating his 80th birthday.
The speech contains the president’s views on the need for schooling reform and education in general. Many of its quotes are timeless, according to National Museum director Michal Lukeš.
Along with other phonographic rollers, the recording was handed over to the National Museum by Czechoslovak Radio in 1966, with the radio unaware of what they contained.
Woody Harrelson to attend this month’s Prague International Film Festival
Famous American actor Woody Harrelson who, among other roles, played Larry Flynt in Miloš Forman’s 1996 picture The People vs. Larry Flint, will be attending this year’s Prague International Film Festival, set to take place at the end of March. Mr Harrelson will be accompanying director Oren Moverman, who is to be honoured by organisers at the festival opening.
The Prague International Film Festival, or Febiofest as it is often referred to, will see its programme divided into 14 sections this year, with a new Comedy Competition category. The festival’s Main Competition will feature a selection of the first films by emerging directors aimed at themes of human dignity and strength of character.
Bamboo Airways’ Prague-Hanoi connection launch delayed due to coronavirus
Vietnamese airline Bamboo Airways has decided to delay the launch of its new Prague-Hanoi flight connection by a month, due to a downfall in demand following the coronavirus epidemic, website Zdopravy.cz reported on Wednesday, citing the spokeswoman of Prague airport Kateřina Pavlívková. The original plan was for the line to fly twice a week starting from the end of March.
Other airlines have also begun limiting their flight connections to Asia. The Czech government has banned flights from Prague to China and starting Thursday, it will be impossible to fly from the country to regions in Northern Italy and South Korea, news site Lidovky.cz reports.
Temperatures are expected to hover around 8 to 11 degrees Celsius on Thursday. Parts of Eastern Bohemia, Silesia and Northern Moravia are likely to see open skies, while in the west it will be cloudy.