PM rejects criticism over coronavirus crisis management

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Tuesday rejected criticism from the opposition and media over his government’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic. Mr. Babis said his administration was doing its utmost in very difficult circumstances, since it faced a global shortage of masks and respirators.

The prime minister said he was sorry he could not do more for health workers and the public in this respect adding that everything possible was being done to acquire protective gear from China and other countries as fast as possible. He pointed to the fact that there had only been 10,000 respirators in the country’s state material reserves.

Five opposition parties have called on the government to be more open about the state of the coronavirus epidemic in the Czech Republic, the available supplies of protective gear and possible crisis scenarios which may develop. According to Czech Radio the Czech Republic is 42nd on the Global Health Security Index which reflects individual countries’ preparedness to deal with a pandemic. In Europe, the country placed behind Poland, Hungary and Albania.