• 02/16/2021

    On Monday, 8,745 new coronavirus cases were reported, almost 1,000 more than on the same day last week. The number of hospital patients has risen by around 200 since Sunday to a total of 5,990, according to the Ministry of Health, which said the situation remains serious.

    Many Czech hospitals have reached the limit of their capacity to treat patients in intensive care units. According to current figures, there are only 184 free spaces in ICUs nationwide, with the situation generally worse in regional Bohemian hospitals than in Moravian ones. Spaces normally designated for patients of other types are being repurposed.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 02/16/2021

    The Czech government wants to increase this year’s budget deficit to 500 billion crowns, Finance Minister Alena Schillerová announced. Thus far, a deficit of 320 billion crowns has been approved. MPs are due to negotiate the draft on Thursday, which Schillerová has asked be passed within the fast-track procedure.

    The proposal includes changes stemming from new tax regulations that came into force in January, such as the abolition of the so-called super gross wage. National Budget Council chairwoman Eva Zamrazilová said that it is clear that adopting the tax package in late 2020 was even more "irresponsible" than it seemed at the time.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 02/16/2021

    The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, plans to stand for chairman of the Social Democratic Party at a congress in April. Mr. Petříček told the news site Seznam Zpravy that he aimed to change the party’s style of leadership. After the Social Democrats did poorly in Senate and regional elections in October the foreign policy chief said that he would not run for the post.

    The current leader of the party, Jan Hamáček, said he was not surprised by Mr. Petříček’s move and would announce his own intentions in good time.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/16/2021

    The minister of industry and trade, Karel Havlíček, says he will propose to the cabinet that shops and shopping centres in the Czech Republic be allowed to reopen under strict conditions from next Monday. The minister made the comment after talks with the country’s governors and said the plan would not apply to service providers.

    Mr. Havlíček said the safety measures would include keeping a two-metre distance from others, compulsory facemasks or respirators and the use of hand sanitizer. He said he would speak more specifically about his proposals in the coming days.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/15/2021

    The Czech government has approved new legislation allowing for special measures aimed at dealing with the Covid-19 situation, the prime minister, Andrej Babiš, said on Monday.

    The country’s regional governors requested that the law on pandemics be fast-tracked in the lower house in talks with ministers at the weekend.

    After MPs rejected again extending a state of emergency, the governors – saying their power to impose a “state of danger” were insufficient to deal with the epidemic – asked the government to declare a new state of emergency themselves. Critics say the step, which came into effect at midnight, was unconstitutional.

    The draft bill agreed by the cabinet on Monday is similar to a similar one approved by ministers in May last year but withdrawn after criticism from the opposition.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/15/2021

    One person died and one was injured after an avalanche in the Krkonoše Mountains in the north of the country on Monday, the director of the Health Rescue Service, Libor Seneta said. The avalanche occurred near Sněžka, the Czech Republic’s highest mountain. The second highest level (of five) of avalanche alert is in place in the Krkonoše.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/15/2021

    After two years Czech police have shelved an investigation centred on Andrej Babiš Jr., the son of the country’s prime minister, news site iRozhlas.cz said on Monday. The former said he had been abducted to Russian-occupied Crimea by his carer. However, detectives concluded that no crime had been committed, the state attorney’s office for Prague 1 said on its website.

    Andrej Babiš Jr. told a news outlet in 2017 that he had been taken to Crimea to prevent him giving evidence in a fraud case. His father rejected that assertion, saying his son was mentally ill.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/15/2021

    The first legal action against Sunday’s fresh declaration of a state of emergency has been taken. The suit filed on Monday asserts that the government’s step was unconstitutional and calls on the Prague Municipal Court to overturn it, a lawyer for the plaintiff told the Czech News Agency.

    After MPs refused to extend a previous state of emergency, the government declared one on Sunday, citing calls from the country’s regional governors.

    A number of lawyers have questioned the constitutionality of this move.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/15/2021

    Karolína Muchová has reached the quarter-finals at tennis’s Australian Open. After a slow start the Czech, who is 24, overcame Elise Mertens of Belgium 7-6 7-5 to reach the last eight in Melbourne for the first time in her career. Muchová, ranked 25th in the world, will face either Shelby Rogers or world number one Ashleigh Barty for a place in her first ever Grand Slam semi-final.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 02/15/2021

    Some 2,832 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the Czech Republic on Sunday – around 400 more than the same day the previous week. There are currently 103,000 registered active cases.

    There has been a slight rise in the number hospitalised with the virus, which now stands at 5,553; almost 1,100 are in a critical condition.

    The national Covid risk index is for the second day at 77 points out of 100, placing it in the highest bracket. The reproduction number fell slightly to 1.03.

    Author: Ian Willoughby

Pages