Daily news summary

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National Security Council to discuss spread of new coronavirus on Monday

The country’s National Security Council is due to meet on Monday to address the spread of the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš told the Czech News Agency on Sunday.

The deadly virus has killed at least 56 people in China and infected at least 2,000 globally since its discovery in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.

Mr Babiš said random checks are already being carried out at Prague airport, focusing on people who are showing symptoms of the disease. According to Health Minister Adam Vojtěch, there are no immediate plans to introduce blanket screenings of patients arriving from the affected areas.

Czech citizen in Vietnam under observation for new coronavirus

Twelve people, including a Czech citizen, have been put in isolation in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang and are under observation for the new coronavirus, the Vietnamese news site Tuoi tre news wrote on Sunday.

According to the website, the people are being monitored in the city’s hospital as they all have fevers and have been recently in contact with high-risk subjects.

A spokeswoman for the Czech Foreign Ministry said the man was hospitalised for preventive reasons, adding that he is in contact with the Czech Embassy in Hanoi.

A pneumonia outbreak, caused by a new strain of the coronavirus family was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan City in December 2019. The virus has spread to other countries, infecting more than 2,000 people globally.

Main Trilobit Award goes to actors Jiří Schmitzer and Vladimír Mrkvička

The main prize in this year’s Trilobit film and television awards has gone to actors Jiří Schmitzer and Vladimír Mrkvička for their roles in the film Old-Timers (Staříci), about a geriatric pair seeking revenge on a communist-era prosecutor, directed by Martin Dušek and Ondřej Provazník.

The lifetime achievement award went to the legendary Czech actor Vladimír Pucholt, who currently lives in Canada and who is known for his roles in Miloš Forman’s films Loves of a Blond and Black Peter.

Hackathon to produce electronic vignettes online sales system underway in Prague

Some 60 IT specialists from around the country are taking part in a hackathon to produce an online sales system for electronic vignettes, following the scrapping of an overpriced deal negotiated by the former transport minister.

The aim of the event, which got underway on Friday evening, is to produce a functional online sales system which they will offer the government free of charge. According to its organizer, IT specialist and entrepreneur Tomáš Vondráček, they should produce and online system by 6 PM on Sunday.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who visited the event on Sunday, said that if the system proves the be fully functional, the government is ready to put it to use.

Prague Zoo raises over CZK 13.5 million to help Australia

Prague Zoo has raised nearly 13.5 million crowns (approximately 840,000 AUD) through a public donation fund to help in the relief efforts to Australia, which was ravaged by devastating bushfires, the zoo’s director Miroslav Bobek announced on Sunday.

According to Mr. Bobek, the funds will be used for immediate relief but also for mid-term or long-term projects aimed at protection of certain locations or animal species. The collection was established on January 6 and will continue for the next two months.

At least 30 people have been killed in the unprecedented bushfires, which have swept large parts of Australia since October, and around 10 million hectares of land has burned. It is also estimated that around a billion animals have been lost to the fire.

Kvitová through to Australian Open quarter-finals

In tennis, Czech seventh seed Petra Kvitová has reached the Australian Open quarter-finals after she battled from a set down to defeat Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-7 6-3 6-2.

The two-time Wimbledon champion will now face either world number one Ashleigh Barty or American Alison Riske in Melbourne.

Weather

Sunday is expected to be mostly overcast with daytime temperatures ranging between 0 and 4 degrees Celsius.