The state of emergency in the Czech Republic is currently in place until 12 December, and several days ago, the government announced that due to the still unfavorable epidemic situation, they would like to extend it by another month, i.e. until 11 January. However, this didn't meet with success among the opposition, who strictly rejected the extension, with a few exceptions. The KSČM stated that they would support the extension of the state of emergency until December 23, and that is what happened. The KSČM proposal was supported by 53 deputies, 36 deputies were against.
At the beginning of the meeting of the Chamber of Deputies, the Minister of Health, Jan Blatný, stated that strict preventive measures or a state of emergency will no longer be required once the number of new infections per week has dropped down to 3,500.
"That's about 500 a day. At that point, we're not dealing with a community spread anymore and there's no need for blanket measures. We are nowhere close to that moment,"
said Jan Blatný, adding that last week the number of new infections decreased, but since the weekend, the numbers have been rising again. The reproduction number is now above 1. The Minister also stated that the number of newly infected people would be between 5-17 thousand a day at the end of the year. According to him, the resulting number will be affected by the compliance with the measures in effect.
Jan Hamáček also spoke in favor of the extension
Jan Hamáček (ČSSD), Minister of the Interior, was one of those who appealed for the extension of the state of emergency.
"My e-mail is full of letters from desperate citizens you convinced that with the state of emergency, Covid would evaporate and all their problems would disappear as if by magic. You give people hope that when the state of emergency is over, everything will be fine. But it won't,"
said Jan Hamáček, stressing that the current situation divides society and that two ministers have already been placed under protecton. After the Minister of Industry and Trade and Transport Karel Havlíček (ANO), protection was also granted to the Minister of Health Jan Blatný (ANO). Before Jan Blatný, former Minister of Health Roman Prymula had been assigned security as well.
The KSČM also supported the extension
The KSČM was in favor of extending the state of emergency until 23 December. Deputy Zdeněk Ondráček stated that without the extension, there would be a great risk of a collapse of the health care system, and that the help of soldiers and firefighters was still necessary.
The opposition had been against from the beginning
On the other hand, the ODS, TOP09 or the Pirates Party were aggressively against the extension of the state of emergency.
"The government doesn't deserve a single extra day of the state of emergency,"
claimed the head of TOP09 Markéta Pekarová Adamová.
"We won't support ANY extension of the state of emergency. We have called on the government many times to formulate clearly why the state of emergency was needed, but they have rejected to do so. Not surprising, considering the fact that there are no valid reasons for another extension. The government has many options how to prevent the spread of the epidemic even without the state of emergency,"
the ODS posted on their Twitter.
"The government is not acting as recommended by the courts neither is it fulfilling the tasks assigned to it by the Chamber of Deputies,"
party chairman Ivan Bartoš explained the refusal of the Pirates Party.
To date, there have been 556,927 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Czech Republic, of which 58,032 are still active. 5,848 new infections were reported yesterday. A total of 9,136 people have already succumbed to the disease and 4,324 people are currently hospitalized.