• 03/04/2021

    Over 21,000 Covid deaths have now been recorded in the Czech Republic, with the figure climbing to 21,128 in the latest Ministry of Health data released on Thursday morning. The last 1,000 deaths were registered over a period of six days.

    Some 15,088 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed on Wednesday, around 1,300 more than on the same day the previous week.

    There were 8,231 patients with Covid-19 in Czech hospitals on Wednesday, around 1,000 more than a week earlier. Over 1,700 people are in a critical condition.

    The reproduction number stood at 1.06 on Wednesday, a slight fall on the previous day.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 03/04/2021

    Prime Minister Andrej Babiš wants a so-called official diploma for this year’s high school graduates, who due to anti-coronavirus measures have mainly had distance-learning instruction. He suggests they would not have to pass the classic school-leaving exam but would have their average marks from their full studies included on a school-leaving certificate.

    Ministry of Education spokeswoman Aneta Lednová told ČTK that negotiations are ongoing with representatives of high schools about other possible adjustments to standard school-leaving measures. She said the aim is to decide on a way forward by the end of next week.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 03/04/2021

    President Miloš Zeman has asked China for a supply of its anti-coronavirus vaccine Sinopharm, acting on a request from Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Presidential spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said on Twitter that China would comply immediately with the request.

    Sinopharm is not among the three vaccines against Covid-19 approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for use in the EU. Mr Babiš had previously said the Czech Republic could buy Sinopharm to keep in reserve until its eventual EMA approval.

    Minister of Health Jan Blatný reiterated in parliament on Wednesday that he saw no reason to secure unapproved vaccines because insurance companies could not be able to pay for their use.

    Meanwhile, the European Union on Wednesday approved giving the Czech Republic preferentially an additional 100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 03/03/2021

    Prime Minister Andrej Babiš plans to visit Israel with a delegation of experts to seek advice on Covid-19 vaccinations, Seznam Zpravy reports. He hopes to obtain a licence to make vaccines but said this was unrelated to a cabinet decision to revive a local project.

    The heads of government of Austria and Denmark are due in Israel on Thursday to discuss the development and manufacture of vaccines for mutant strains. Along with the Czech Republic, they have argued EU regulators should loosen state aid rules to make it easier for companies hit by the pandemic to get support.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 03/03/2021

    Hospitals in Benešov and Mladá Boleslav have declare states of mass disability due to a lack of capacity to treat Covid-19 patients, and other Central Bohemian medical facilities may soon follow, ČTK reports.

    A state of mass disability is an extraordinary event in which a medical facility is unable to provide the standard level of care due. There are now 730 Covid-19 patients in Central Bohemian hospitals and only a dozen or so free beds in intensive care units, regional officials said.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 03/03/2021

    There are a record number of people in Czech hospitals with Covid-19. Some 8,162 patients were receiving treatment for the virus on Tuesday, while the figure for Monday has been revised upwards to 8,234. The previous high of 8,155 was registered at the end of November. The number of Covid patients in a critical condition in Czech hospitals is 1,661.

    Some 16,642 new cases of the coronavirus were registered on Wednesday, the fourth highest number since the pandemic hit the Czech Republic.

    The reproduction number is now 1.09, following four days of decline.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 03/03/2021

    The Pilsen Philharmonic has announced its choice for chief conductor for the 2021/2022 concert season is Chuhei Iwasaki, a Japanese guest conductor who has been living in the Czech Republic for 13 years.

    Iwasaki, who was born in 1987 in Tokyo, studied composition and conducting at the Prague Conservatory, where he now teaches. He will replace the Belgian conductor Ronald Zollman, who has led the orchestra since the 2018/2019 season.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 03/03/2021

    A total of 64 companies filed for bankruptcy in the Czech Republic in February, the greatest number since June 2020, according to a report by the CRIF – Czech Credit Bureau. Some 530 entrepreneurs filed for bankruptcy, 24 more than the previous month.

    A total of 1,264 personal bankruptcies were declared in the Czech Republic in February. At the same time, 1,404 more petitions for personal bankruptcy were filed, 386 more than in January, according to CRIF.

    Most personal bankruptcies were declared in the regions of Moravia-Silesia (187), Ústí (145) and Central Bohemian (133). The fewest were in the regions of Vysočina (34) and Pardubice (49).

    In January, 1,336 companies in the Czech Republic ceased to exist, up 5 percent in annual terms, and the highest number since 1993. At the same time, 2,413 companies were established, 11 percent less than in January 2020.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 03/03/2021

    Thursday should be cloudy and occasionally foggy throughout most of the country, with rain likely in western Bohemia in the afternoon and evening. Daytime highs of 10 to 15 degrees Celsius are expected.

  • 03/03/2021

    MPs have agreed to formally address the lack of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients in the Pardubice region, which on Tuesday announced a "state of mass disability".

    Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček announced offers to take in scores of Covid-19 patients in total by neighbouring Germany, Austria and Poland, as well as Switzerland and Slovenia.

    It was the opposition party TOP 09 that called for the lower house of Parliament to discuss the situation in Pardubice. The Pilsen and Karlovy Vary regions also have reached their limits, while others are nearing capacity.

    A record 8,160 Covid-19 patients are now being treated in Czech hospitals, among whom 1,661 are in serious condition.

    Author: Brian Kenety

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