Although the number of peeople infected with COVID-19 in the Czech Republic isn't decreasing, and to date 96,969 active cases have been registered, the field hospital in Letňany is about to be demolished. According to Jan Blatný, the necessary staff is missing. The hospital has been operating in Letňany since October, without any use. Blatný also commented on the government contract Tik Tok, which aroused a wave of resentment among the public.
The field hospital in Brno remains for the time being. The Prague one, with 500 beds, will soon be cleared and dismantled.
"The field hospital in Prague, the way it is designed, is not an optimal place that should serve as a vaccination center. The lease will be terminated on February 6, I should sign it today,"
It is necessary to strengthen the staff in the existing hospitals instead of in the field hospital, said Blatný's deputy Vladimír Černý.
It can't be disputed that there are not enough vaccines in the Czech Republic. The prime minister's current adviser, Roman Prymula, therefore outlined in a past interview with Radiožurnál that the purchase of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine could be considered, but Blatný denied it today.
"My opinion remains the same. I think that the Czech Republic shouldn't buy the vaccine, not because it was made in Russia or elsewhere, but because we should buy a vaccine that has already been proven to be safe and approved by the European Medicines Agency. The moment the Russian vaccine is approved, I have nothing against it. But I would oppose it being purchased in non-standard ways."
During the press conference, Jan Blatný also commented on the government contract with Tik Tok, which cost the state half a million crowns. It features young influencers Anna Šulcová and Jakub Gulab.
"I don't fully understand the criticism. It is not a campaign for the government, we are not posing on social networks to show off. It's an effort to get information about the epidemic among young people in a manner they'll be able to understand, and then tell their granny that getting vaccinated is worth it,"
The controversial contract was signed by the director of the office's communication department, Vladimír Vořechovský. According to him, the money wasn't spent on influencers, but on the promotion of the videos themselves, both on Tik Tok and Instagram or YouTube.
"I was honored to co-create one of the most watched and most important campaigns in 2021 for the Czech Republic. We got leading Czech experts in 2021, and especially young people. We managed to get 500k for the project and we spread the whole amount to purchase paid advertising directly on TikTok, YouTube and IG. "