Veterinarians determine areas with higher risk of bird flu outbreak

The head of the State Veterinary Authority Milan Malena has said that a potential outbreak of bird flu is more likely to occur in the Pardubice, Strakonice and Znojmo districts where there is a high density of poultry farms. If the deadly H5N1 virus were detected in those areas, Mr Malena said stricter precautionary measures would be adopted than elsewhere. The infection has so far been detected in 12 European countries, including three countries neighbouring the Czech Republic.

Healthcare workers considering general strike

The President of the Chamber of Dentists Jiri Pekarek has said healthcare workers are considering a general strike in May, one month before parliamentary elections. Speaking in a TV discussion programme on Sunday, Mr Pekarek said during the industrial action many practices and surgeries would be closed and health care would be less available. Health Minister David Rath said he would not yield to the pressure of the disaffected health care employees. On Friday, thousands of health care workers staged a protest rally in Prague, demanding Health Minister Rath's dismissal.

Rath wants to repay hospitals' debts by elections

Health Minister Rath also told Czech Television on Sunday that he would like the heavily indebted teaching hospitals, directly controlled by the Health Ministry, to repay their debts by the June elections. Mr Rath said the Health Ministry did not have the required 2 billion crowns and he would therefore need the help of Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek and Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. Meanwhile pharmaceutical wholesalers have refused to deliver drugs to three most indebted hospitals until they pay for previous deliveries.

Bohdan Slama's "Happiness" awarded as best Czech film

The film "Stesti" or "Happines" has won the Czech Lion award for the best Czech film of 2005. The film, directed by Bohdan Slama and produced by Pavel Strnad, received a total of seven prizes at Saturday's award ceremony in Prague; for best Czech film, best director, best script, best photography, best actor in a leading role and best actress in a leading and supporting role.

Czech ice-hockey team wins Olympic bronze

The Czech Republic defeated Russia 3:0 in men's ice hockey on Saturday to win the Olympic Games ice hockey bronze medal. Marek Zidlicky scored a powerplay goal early in the second period to make it 2-0 after Russian forward Ilya Kovalchuk was given a five-minute major for boarding. Martin Erat and Martin Straka also scored for the Czechs who finished with a record of four wins and four losses and picked up their first Olympic medal since winning gold in 1998.


The next couple of days should be even colder than the weekend, with partly cloudy to overcast skies and daytime temperatures dropping to minus 5 degrees Celsius. Temperatures in the night time are expected to drop to minus 13 to minus 15 degrees Celsius.