Blatný introduced a plan for loosening the restrictions: What does the future hold for restaurants, schools or the state of emergency?
At a press conference today, Minister of Health Jan Blatný presented a new system called DOG, according to which the government regulations in the Czech Republic will be gradually loosened. The number of positive patients with Covid-19 is slowly declining, but the government doesn't want to rush anything. The so-called risk score will be calculated from the data, which will show the degree of risk for the public on a scale from 1 to 100.
Five stages of risk development
The new system will have a total of five stages, which will depend on several factors: the percentage of positive tests, the number of infected per hundred thousand inhabitants, the number of positive seniors and the reproductive number. This indicates how many people are infected by one infected person. According to Blatný, there will always be a waiting period of one week so the result can be as accurate as possible. A response to one-day changes would've been too hasty.
"I think the new system should have a name that refers to something specific. It will watch over us - a dog, the anti-epidemic system,"
said Blatný. The system should make it easier to determine whether the epidemic is accelerating or slowing down.
A complete overview of the loosening can be found on the website of the Ministry of Health.
The Czech Republic is now in the fifth stage
So far, the fifth degree applies to the current situation in the Czech Republic. If the numbers don't start to rise and the government approves, it could move to the fourth level within the next week. The index can move to a lower stage at the earliest after seven days, if the score stays unchanged. The final word will always be given to the experts of the Ministry of Health and the final responsibility to the Government of the Czech Republic.
The index will be valid from November 16th and will be updated daily.
First and second graders will go first
The Minister of Education, Robert Plaga, announced that the first and second graders would be next. They should return to school next week, on Wednesday November 18th. Then part of the high school classes and the first years of university.
What about the restaurants and municipal authorities
The restaurants will have to wait a little longer for their opening. In all five stages, they'll be able to function only with restrictions. In the last and lowest stage, they might get to be open until midnight. At the moment, however, they can only work through dispensing windows.
Municipal authorities have to be closed for now, which could change if the third stage occured. They could get to be partially open then, but with limited office hours.
The measures have taken effect
According to the chief hygienist Jarmila Rážová, the number of positive patients began to decline. There is now an average of 2.4 high-risk contacts per infected person.
"With the declining number of newly infected people, this fully corresponds to the number of tests performed. It cannot be said that there is not enough of those,"
added Blatný. Yesterday, the laboratories revealed 7,874 positive tests for coronavirus, on Wednesday there had been about one thousand more and a week ago almost 5,400 more. The number of hospitalized patients is also decreasing.
The Minister of Health attributes the decrease mainly to compliance with the measures and the maximum restriction of social contact. According to the data, the mobility of people has decreased by 60 to 80 percent.
The state of emergency is likely to be extended
For now, the state of emergency is in effect until November 20th, but Blatný said that at Monday's government meeting he wants to propose an extension of up to 30 days.
"The government has assessed that the conditions for declaring a state of emergency are still met. The Czech Republic remains in a state of danger. I therefore intend to propose an extension of the state of emergency by 30 days at Monday's meeting,"