This afternoon, the government decided to declare a state of emergency due to the Covid-19 epidemic. This will allow it to take comprehensive measures to slow down the increase in the number of infected. It can also re-engage medics from medical schools.
1,965 new cases of coronavirus infections have been recorded in the Czech Republic yesterday, with a total of over 34,000 sick people. The current reproductive number of the disease (the average number of persons infected by a single individual who tested positive) is 1.24, and the state of emergency, along with other measures, could reduce it by up to 40 percent, according to Prymula.
"The current epidemiological situation is not developing too well. The Czech Republic is one of the countries where the development has recently seen the largest increases,"
explained the Minister of Health Roman Prymula. In cooperation with experts, he therefore decided to introduce rapid measures, which will be in force for two weeks. According to Prymula, this absolutely doesn't mean that measures similar to those we had to abide by in the spring will take effect in the Czech Republic. The Chamber of Deputies can still overturn the decision.
If you want to go to your favorite yoga class or have a brunch with a group of friends, you'd try and make it by Sunday. From Monday, constraints on public gathering will apply for another two weeks.
"With this measure, we ban all indoor mass events for more than 10 people and outdoor events for more than twenty people,"
Prymula described the planned measures. Activities related to singing - big concerts, operas and musicals - will also be canceled for the next two weeks. According to Prymula, singing is one of the most dangerous activities. Theater performances and film screenings won't be affected by the new restrictions, but refreshment breaks will be canceled. In restaurants, a maximum of six people will be able to sit at one table.
"We don't want the activities associated with celebrations to move from the schools to the restaurants, where people could get infected,"
Professional athletes are exempted from the constraints on public gathering, but matches will take place without spectators.
Another of the planned measures will affect weddings and funerals - the number of participants should be limited to thirty, with effect from 19 October.
University students have been studying from home since last week, and on Monday, high school students in regions with a higher risk of infection will also stay at home for two weeks. The hygienists of the individual regions will decide on the measures. Kindergartens, primary schools and lower grades of grammar schools will remain in operation.
"A full transition to distance learning takes place, with the exception of practical teaching, which is allowed in the usual mode,"
However, physical education classes will be canceled for the next two weeks, with the exception of lower grades of primary schools - only walks will be allowed. Music education will take place without singing.
From 1 October, state of emergency will also be in effect in Slowakia, for 45 days. Prime Minister Igor Matovic posted on Twitter that an extension could not be ruled out:
"So far, for 45 days from October 1, i.e. we will see how traveling over the All Souls Day will affect us. Then we will decide whether to continue or return to normal life. "