Prague, April 12 (CTK) – President Miloš Zeman is for the continuation of the current form of fight against coronavirus in the Czech Republic as the more liberal approach of some countries, such as Sweden, has not proved well, Zeman told the commercial television station Prima today.
While the epidemic is gaining strength in the countries with a more liberal approach, it is receding in the Czech Republic, Zeman said.
“Our plan should continue with what is being successfully done because we know already that the epidemic is receding,” Zeman said.
The alternative of the protection of vulnerable groups of people along with the simultaneous relaxation of the measures that would cause a large proportion of the infected in the population and a development of collective immunity might work, but experts do not agree on it, Zeman said.
He said due to preliminary caution he preferred the strategy that had already proved as functioning.
Czechs should sustain the current limitations, Zeman said, adding that he preferred “the current restrictive way of fight against the epidemic.”
“The epidemic is receding, we will take off the face masks in a few weeks,” he added.
The Chamber of Deputies should prolong the state of emergency, valid since April 12, right until May 11, for which the government has asked it, Zeman said.
Zeman said he expected the state of emergency to be necessary to be prolonged again. The repeated prolongation until April 30 means that the lower house will have to meet again and risk the infection, he added.
“Naturally I respect the decision of the Chamber of Deputies and it does not seem to me right to wage a war over 14 days,” Zeman said.
Zeman said based on the data on the epidemic he felt optimism and hope.
“The falling tendency continues. Compared with other countries, the measures here have really had an impact. Let us compare the numbers of the infected and deaths here and in western Europe,” he added.
Throughout the epidemic, Czechs have shown common sense and solidarity, Zeman said.
He thanked the government for its activities during the coronavirus crisis and dismissed the notion that the government might be split.
Zeman said that due to current coronavirus crisis human lives could not sacrificed for the sake of economic growth.
There is no threat of suppressing the economy because unlike the post-war era, buildings and machines will be available even after the coronavirus crisis, Zeman said.
“In this country, human life and human health is the most important affair. It is rubbish to sacrifice this for any economic growth. Let us wait, let us make the population healthy with the measures and let us then trigger the economy. We may lose two to three months, but we will save lots of human lives,” Zeman said.
He stressed that the government could influence individual economic indicators with its work.
“If the government launches robust investment programmes, which may be also on the local and regional level, in such a case the jobless rate has no reason to grow. If the government does not do anything, which I do not presume, the jobless rate may grow to the estimated 5 percent from the current three, which is no major tragedy either,” Zeman said.
Zeman said “thanks to God and the government,” the Czech Republic was one of the least indebted countries.
“The state can now afford the investment expansion by debts. Indebtment is no four-letter word, depending on its reason. If it is for the sake of eliminating the economic impact of a pandemic, it is right,” Zeman said.