• 01/05/2021

    Vaccination against the coronavirus will take place in three phases, Health Minister Jan Blatn said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. The initial A1 phase, which is currently underway, will see the inoculation of those over the age of 80 as well as health care, social care and relevant Interior Ministry staff. In phase 2B, other groups in society marked as high-risk or relevant groups will receive the vaccine. This includes people over the age of 65, those with relevant chronic diseases and priority groups involved in critical state infrastructure. The vaccination of health care staff and seniors, some 600,000 people according to the presentation, should be finished by March. After these two initial stages, the final phase 2 will be activated, where all other members of the population who register will receive the vaccine.

    Registration for the general population will open in February. People will have to provide their personal details, which will then be added to the system and evaluated. Subsequently, they will receive confirmation of registration, after which people will be able to register a date when they want to receive the vaccine. The vaccination itself will require the person to identify themselves with relevant documents, after which they will be examined by a medical professional and then receive the vaccine.

    Health Minister Blatný said readiness is not the main issue now, but rather the steady supply of vaccine doses. He expects healthy, young people will start being able to receive the vaccine sometime during the summer months.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/05/2021

    The Ministry of Health is planning a system that would allow pub owners to check if their guests have received the coronavirus vaccine, news site Aktuálně.cz reported on Tuesday. The details could be checked by a staff member using a phone in front of the establishment and this system could also be used at other mass gatherings such as sports or cultural events, Aktuálně.cz writes, using a working version of the Ministry of Health’s plan as a source.

    However, Aktuálně cites the document as stating that it is unclear whether such a measure would get legislative approval and it would require the vaccine to be widely available before the system could be implemented.

    On Monday, Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlíček said that entry to mass events and some establishments could be made to require a negative coronavirus test.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/05/2021

    Temperatures will range between 0 to 2 degrees Celsius on Wednesday. Snow or rainfall is expected across the country with the exception of North Bohemia, where meteorologists predict skies to be overcast. In the south-east of Bohemia and in the north-western parts of Moravia and Silesia, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute expects up to 10cm of snowfall.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/05/2021

    Those who believe the Czech Republic is too slow in starting its coronavirus vaccination programme should direct their criticism towards the European Union rather than the Czech government, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said in an interview with the daily Právo on Tuesday.

    Mr. Babiš said that the reason why countries such as Israel and the United Kingdom are able to start vaccinating earlier is because they are not dependent on outside structures, unlike EU member states. He said that the issue of how slow it was taking to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine, which had already been purchased in August, had been brought up during the December meeting of EU prime ministers. The European Commission argued that there were insufficient resources to speed up negotiations, the Czech premier said. In the EU vaccines first have to be approved from the European Medicines Agency before they can be used.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/05/2021

    Czech police have proposed filing charges at 66 individuals, including doctors and representatives of pharmaceutical companies, who they believe took part in a major corruption case that revolved around preferential treatment in handing out prescription drugs, the National Centre for Combating Organised Crime announced on Tuesday.

    The police branch believes that a total of CZK 12 million was handed over by pharmaceutical company representatives to 23 doctors in the form of bribes from 2009 to 2013. Originally, police charged 151 doctors for being involved in the case, but 128 of the medical practitioners saw charges dropped after expressing regret over the crime and agreeing to pay damages to the victims, the Czech News Agency reports.

    Those doctors who are still facing charges could spend up to five years in jail if convicted.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/05/2021

    The Czech branch of the Jesuit Order is preparing to send a proposal to the Holy See in Rome to beatify priest Adolf Kajpr, who was imprisoned by the Nazis during the Second World War and later died in a Communist prison after being sentenced in a show trial, Czech Television reported on Tuesday.

    The order has gathered six crates of documents that it believes prove the priests right to be beatified. If Pope Francis approves the proposal Father Kajpr will become the first beatified Czech Jesuit.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/05/2021

    Prague City Hall is planning to set up a CZK 210 million design tender for modernising the Petřín cableway, which has been in operation since 1891. The city is looking for new carriages and tracks to rejuvenate the ageing but popular site, Deputy Mayor  Adam Scheinherr said on Tuesday.

    The project is expected to take place in the next four to five years and will require the cableway to be closed for eight months when reconstruction begins.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/05/2021

    The Ministry of Education has issued measures to adjust entrance exams for secondary school graduation courses and confirmed that no compulsory uniform entrance exams for four-year graduation courses.

    This academic year, secondary school principals can admit applicants based on the school’s own entrance examinations, or completely without examinations. For multi-year grammar schools, state entrance examinations should take place as usual, including two dates.

    Unified entrance tests in the Czech and mathematics, organised by Cermat, will be held for four-year courses from April 12-13, and for multi-year grammar schools on April 14-15. School entrance exams can be held in the Matura fields (school-leaving exam subjects) from April 12-28.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 01/05/2021

    About 15,000 people, mainly medical staff and seniors, have been vaccinated have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in the Czech Republic, former Minister of Health Roman Prymula told Czech Television. Only seven people have reported adverse effects, according to the State Institute for Drug Control.

    Current measures against the spread of the virus may not be enough, and massive testing and rapid isolation of people testing positive must begin, he said in a separate interview with CNN Prima News.

    Prymula predicted the number of new daily cases could rise to 20,000 from the record high of 17,000 set last week, as testing slowed during the Christmas holidays and social contact increased. On Sunday, 6,220 people tested positive, the most on a weekend since November 1. On Monday, there were 12,860 new cases.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 01/04/2021

    Establishments forced to close due to anti-coronavirus measures may receive compensation of some 400 crowns per worker per day under the Covid Gastro aid program approved on Monday, Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček (Social Democrats) said.

    Entrepreneurs whose activities were limited or suspended between October 14 of last year and January 10, especially those running gastronomical establishments, will have the right to take advantage of the subsidies.

    Havlíček told reporters that can simultaneously request compensation for salaries, contributions, rent during the last quarter of 2020, and even a compensation bonus for freelancers.

    Author: Brian Kenety

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