• 04/14/2021

    Tuesday saw 5,033 people test positive for COVID-19 that is 546 less than on the same day last week. 5,129 coronavirus patients required hospitalisation of which 1,097 were in serious condition. The reproduction remains largely unchanged at 1.07.

    Meanwhile, 53,527 people received a vaccine on Tuesday, bringing the total number of jabs distributed thus far in the Czech Republic to over 2.2 million. More than three quarters of a million people have now been fully vaccinated.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 04/14/2021

    The Communist Party have ended a “tolerance” pact under which they supported the minority ANO and Social Democrats government on key votes. Communist leader Vojtěch Filip said the party had lost faith in ANO.

    For his part Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO said he did not feel the move would have any major influence on the cabinet’s decision-making, saying he would seek cross-party backing for government bills.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 04/14/2021

    The Social Democrats, the junior party in the coalition government, will put forward Jakub Kulhánek for the post of minister of foreign affairs to replace Tomáš Petříček, who was dismissed on Monday. The job had first been offered to arts minister Lubomír Zaorálek, but he turned it down.

    Mr. Kulhánek, who is 37, has hitherto been a deputy minister of the interior. Critics question his suitability for the post of foreign minister given that in the past he worked for the Chinese company CEFC.

    In an interview with Radio Z on Wednesday, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said he has "no problem" with Deputy Interior Minister Jan Kulhánek being the Social Democrat’s choice for new minister of foreign affairs. He went on to say that he believes his relationship with Mr. Kulhánek will be better than with his predecessor Tomáš Petříček while also reiterating that Czech foreign policy is anchored in NATO and EU membership.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 04/13/2021

    Deputy prime minister, interior minister, acting foreign minister and head of the Czech coronavirus taskforce Jan Hamáček collapsed on Tuesday. The website Blesk reported that he was not receiving medical care. In an SMS the chairman of the Social Democrats said his collapse had probably been caused by pressure. He has come under some fire for sacking the minister of foreign affairs without first lining up a replacement.

    Mr. Hamáček will not be attending a session of the lower house later on Tuesday because of his indisposition.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 04/13/2021

    More than 28,000 Covid deaths have now been recorded in the Czech Republic, which has a population of 10.7 million. The number reached 28,038 on Monday. However, there has been a decline in the number of deaths in recent days.

    Some 3,843 new cases of the virus were registered on Monday, which was the lowest weekday figure since November 30.

    A total of 54,263 vaccines were administered on Monday, the fourth highest one-day tally to date.

    The Covid reproduction number has risen to 1.05, the first time it has been above 1.0 for over a month.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 04/13/2021

    A court in Prague has ordered the police to investigate for a second time the sale of materials with Nazi themes by the publishing company Naše vojsko, Czech Television reported on Tuesday. In January the state attorney charged one individual and the company over the sale of such goods. The state attorney may appeal the new ruling.

    The head of the Foundation for Holocaust Victims, Michal Klima, filed a criminal complaint against the firm last year over a calendar it was offering featuring “personalities of the Third Reich”.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 04/13/2021

    It should be overcast in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with an average high temperature of 7 degrees Celsius. Similar, though slightly cooler weather, is expected in the following days.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 04/13/2021

    One hundred days before the start of the Olympics in Tokyo the Czech Republic’s athletes have secured 44 starting spots, 12 of which are by name. Speaking on Tuesday, the sporting director of the Czech Olympic Committee, Martin Doktor, said he was optimistic that over 100 Czechs would have made the cut by the time qualifying competitions for the games ended.

    There were 104 athletes in the Czech team for the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 04/13/2021

    Lubomír Zaorálek says that for now he is not willing to leave his position as arts minister to take over as minister of foreign affairs. The latter post has been vacant since Tomas Petříček was fired by his Social Democrats party chief, Jan Hamáček.

    Mr. Zaorálek – who is a former minister of foreign affairs – told reporters on Tuesday that he was not satisfied with how the ministry was functioning at present, saying it had been “gutted”. He also said he wished to complete the work he had started at the Ministry of Culture.

    The opposition have accused Jan Hamáček of causing chaos by firing Mr. Petříček before securing a replacement. Mr. Hamáček, who is minister of the interior, is currently also acting foreign minister.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 04/13/2021

    The government has moved to loosen the restrictions on sporting activities, enabling 12 persons to train outdoors in six groups of two, on condition that the groups keep a ten metre distance from each other. They will not need to wear face masks or undergo tests.The exception was granted on Monday following pressure from the country’s sports clubs and the Czech Union of Sports.

    Under the government imposed restrictions a maximum of two people can gather indoors and out. The decision has been questioned by some legal experts on the grounds that without a state of emergency in place the government does not have the right to restrict freedom of movement on a nationwide scale.

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