Slovak president expresses support for anti-Babiš demonstrators
The newly installed Slovak president Zuzana Čaputová, who visited Prague on Monday, expressed her understanding for people who are demonstrating against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and for independent judiciary.
Speaking at a concert in her honour at Prague’s Kampa island, the Slovak head of state said drew analogy with last year’s demonstrations in Slovakia against the government led by Prime Minister Robert Fico. "What these demonstrations have in common is their peaceful tone", Mrs Čaputová said.
A series of protest took place in the Czech Republic in recent weeks against PM Babiš and his appointment of Marie Benešová as justice minister. The most recent rally in Prague was attended by an estimated 120,000 people. Another demonstration is due to take place on June 23 on Prague’s Letná plain, the venue of the largest anti-regime demonstrations of November 1989.
Mixed results for Czech clubs in Europa League10/30/2020
Slavia Prague were the only Czech club to do well in the group stage of football’s Europa League on Thursday night. The Czech title-holders beat Germany’s Leverkusen 1:0 in Prague, with the only goal coming from Peter Olayinka.
By contrast Slovan Liberec suffered a 1:5 away defeat at the hands of Crvena zvezda Belgrade, while Sparta Prague lost 3:0, also away, to AC Milan.
Over 1,000 now in intensive care with Covid-19 in Czech hospitals10/30/2020
Some 13,051 new cases of Covid-19 were registered in the Czech Republic on Thursday. The total number of active cases in the country now stands at 178,578, according to official Ministry of Health data.
The number of deaths with the coronavirus has climbed to 2,862, with 540 of those occurring so far this week.
The number of patients with Covid-19 in a critical condition has passed 1,000 for the first time, reaching 1,031. Some 6,604 people are hospitalised with the virus.
New health minister aims to replace fear of Covid-19 with respect for virus10/29/2020
The new minister of health, Jan Blatný, has outlined his vision for the post his first news conference since being appointed. Dr. Blatný said the main goal for him and his government department would be to change the situation with regard to Covid-19 and the mood in society. He said fear of the virus, which was paralyzing and dividing people, needed to be traded for respect.
The new minister said the current strict measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus would not need to be tightened further in a significant way. However, people need to respect them, he said.
Man faces terror charge after threatening to drive truck into crowd over closed bars10/29/2020
Police have charged a man from Pardubice who is accused of saying on Facebook that he would drive a truck into people if restaurants and bars were not reopened. They are closed under Covid-19 restrictions.
The man, who is 62, faces from five to 15 years in jail for threatening an act of terrorism, a police spokesperson said.
Farmers’ markets want loosening of new Covid-19 restriction10/29/2020
The Czech Association of Farmers’ Markets have called on the government to reconsider restrictions on such sites imposed in a bid to curb Covid-19 infections. A new measure says there may be no more than 20 persons in a 400 metre square space at farmers’ markets. However, this amounts to far more than the standard two-metre distance required and makes markets unfeasible to hold, say operators.
Restrictions introduced this week allow the sale of agricultural products only at markets. No consumption of food or drink is allowed on site.
Babiš expresses horror over fatal attack in Nice10/29/2020
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, says he is “absolutely horrified by the barbarous attack in Nice” on Thursday. Three people were killed in the apparent terrorist incident. Mr. Babiš wrote on Twitter that he stood by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and all French people.
The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, said whatever the motivation nothing could excuse the brutal attack in Nice, another attempt in Avignon and an attack on the French Embassy in Saudi Arabia. He also expressed sympathy with the victims.
It should be overcast and rainy in the Czech Republic on Friday, with an average daytime high of 14 degrees Celsius. The following days are also expected to be overcast.
Prague wooden church fire blamed on technical fault or human error10/29/2020
Fire service investigators say a blaze at a wooden church in Prague was probably caused by either a technical fault or human error. The Church of St. Michael in the city’s Kinský Gardens park was burnt to a cinder in Wednesday’s fire. It was originally built in Carpathian Ruthenia before being disassembled and transported to Prague in 1929.
The fire service said the cause of the blaze should be established by Friday.
Medical chamber chief: New minister must demand full lockdown10/29/2020
The head of the Czech Medical Chamber says that the new minister of health needs to insist on a total lockdown to contain the Covid-19 emergency. Speaking to Czech Radio, Milan Kubek said the country’s hospitals were headed for disaster. The doctors’ leader said the government’s bit by bit “salami technique” was not working.
Mr. Kubek said that the Czech Republic should follow Israel’s lead by imposing a full lockdown, adding that the tougher the restrictions the shorter they would need to be in place.
Doctor Jan Blatný appointed health minister10/29/2020
Doctor Jan Blatný has been named Czech minister of health. He was appointed by President Miloš Zeman at his Lány residence near Prague on Thursday. The move came less than a week after the previous minister, Roman Prymula, was photographed leaving a restaurant, which should have been closed under Covid-19 restrictions. Mr. Prymula was only appointed in the latter half of September.
Dr. Blatny specialises in paediatric haematology and has international experience. He has previously served as deputy head of Brno’s University Hospital.