In the Czech Republic, there are currently nearly 4,600 people infected with the coronavirus; 72 people succumbed to the disease. However, quarantine has been in place for three weeks already, and as Easter approaches, the government decided to loosen the restrictive measures a notch. As a result of that, they also count with the virus spreading at an accelerating rate among people again, but suddenly, that might actually be a good thing...
The government seems to have realized that it is impossible to stop the epidemic. From the beginning, they have been claiming that the official figures were actually just the tip of the iceberg, and so it looks like they have to move on to a different strategy.
"We can't stop the epidemic. But we must be able to let the virus run through the population in a controlled way so that the epidemic doesn't spread,"
He believes that all groups of people that are expected to have a disease course not worse than the flu should encounter the illness. Of course, protecting the most vulnerable group, the elderly, continues being a priority.
said epidemiologist Roman Prymula, who apparently began to look at the whole issue with the virus a little differently than before, in an interview for DVTV.
On Monday and then again on Wednesday, the government will discuss whether small shops and some sports grounds could be reopened. According to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, this would include, for example, children's shops, stationery and work clothes shops. Sales in hobbymarkets and shops with building materials, where only entrepreneurs and sole traders have been allowed to make purchases before, could also be expanded.
Already before Easter, shoe and luggage repair shops, hardware stores and scrap dealers or composting plants could open their doors. Rules such as keeping a 2-meter distance between poeple and using disinfection would apply everywhere, and none of the employees could have a temperature higher than 37.3 degrees before their shift.
There is also the possibility of opening outdoor sports grounds where only two athletes and their family members would be allowed. These include, among others, sports grounds for running, in-line skating, golf, tennis, shooting, rowing or canoeing. In such a case, the athletes wouldn't have to wear a face mask, but only if the indoor spaces such as changing rooms and sanitary facilities remained closed.
Jan Hamáček, who, moreover, persistently demands that the state of emergency be extended until May 11, and not only until April 30, as suggested by the opposition, doesn't like this at all. However, with the aid of the Communists (who have promised their support), the opposition could push through a shortening of the state of emergency in the Chamber of Deputies.
"I tend to be very careful when I hear suggestions on how we should loosen some measures. We are not so far and I really don't want us to have wasted all that human and other capital that we have invested in getting to the state we are in," said Jan Hamáček on Saturday after a meeting with President Miloš Zeman.
However, Roman Prymula admitted at the weekend that weddings could also be allowed in April, albeit with a limited number of participants.
"We register complaints from many entrepreneurs and companies that the current situation endangers them more and more. If the situation does not get worse, we could start loosening some of the restrictive measures after Easter,"
said chairman Martin Jurečka, adding that people should adhere to security measures and keep wearing face masks. The chairman of the KDU-ČSL proposes to loosen the conditions for farmers' markets, which are not allowed to carry out their commercial activities.
"I receive a lot of incentives from farmers who have a large part of their income dependent only on selling their products on farmers' markets,"
For now, the ban on retail sale and the sail of services is in place until 11 April. An exception applies to grocery stores, pharmacies, drugstores, computer stores, pet stores, newsstands or gardening supplies and florists. Starting on Thursday, household goods stores can also be open, in case they offer protective equipment.
The Prime Minister has not specified when restaurants and bars will reopen. He pointed out, though, that they would probably have to initially operate in limited traffic conditions, and that the sale of alcohol would probably be prohibited for some time. However, this was denied by the Minister of Interior Jan Hamáček, according to whom it will not get to this scenario.