Incoming Czech government presents its plan to tackle coronavirus epidemic

Representatives of the incoming Together and Pirates and Mayors coalition government presented their plan on how to tackle the growing coronavirus epidemic in the country at a press conference on Wednesday morning.

The future prime minister, Petr Fiala, said that it is no longer possible to prevent a fifth wave of the epidemic and that the only thing that can be done now is to try and limit its impact. He said that the main criterion for directing the pandemic response should be a focus on hospital capacity, especially that of ICU units, rather than on the number of positive cases.

Vlastimil Válek, the coalition’s nominee for minister of health, said that the future government is against instituting compulsory vaccination for specific age groups. However, he said that the state should not stand in opposition if certain organisations, for example those representing doctors, choose to institute mandatory vaccination for their workers.

He also stated that PCR tests will again be recognised as valid Covid certificates, not just proof of vaccination or of having recovered from the disease over the past 180 days as is currently the case. He believes that it is possible to raise the capacity of testing centres to provide more than 200,000 tests per day. Tests should also be taken by people whose second vaccine dose was applied more than half a year ago and who have been exposed to risk of infection, according to Dr Válek.

The coalition called on the public to limit social contact and stated that regional hygiene administrations should focus on local measures, such as limiting the maximum number of people at mass events.

Representatives of the incoming government also promised that they will not be closing all schools in the country to limit the epidemic. However, they did propose moving the onset of Christmas holidays for schoolchildren to an earlier date – December 18. They also announced their intention to uphold the country’s current crisis legislation, but said that they will try to pass an amendment on the pandemic law.

Author: Tom McEnchroe