Czech Republic coronavirus updates, August 13: 292 new cases, experts say virus is weakening

"COVID-19 is not a medieval plague, it is a respiratory viral infection that we can deal with," says Czech infectious disease specialist Jiří Beneš

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 13.08.2020 09:48 (updated on 13.08.2020)

There were 292 new COVID-19 cases reported in the Czech Republic yesterday, according to the latest stats published by the Czech Health Ministry this morning.

Since the beginning of the outbreak in March, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic has now exceeded 19,000, standing at 19,075 this morning.

There have been 13,407 confirmed recoveries and 391 COVID-19-related deaths in that span, leaving a record-high 5,277 known active cases.

This week, there has been a slight increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases reported in Prague, which now stands at about 28 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days.

Frýdek-Místek, with 52 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past week, and Klatovy, with about 40 new cases per 100,000 residents, continue to be the most-affected districts in the Czech Republic. Both areas have seen a decrease in the rate of new cases this week, however.

The daily increase in new COVID-19 cases across the Czech Republic has generally been steady over the past three weeks, reaching a high of 323 last Friday and a weekday low of 140 this Monday. While the numbers are higher than those reported throughout the late spring and early summer, epidemiologists have noted that the number of patients in hospitals has not seen a similar increase.

After reaching a high of 437 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in April, the Czech Republic has seen that number level off to around 100 over the past three months. Currently, there are 131 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the Czech Republic, with 24 of those patients considered to be in serious condition.

According to local experts, the virus appears to be mutating and weakening over time. Soňa Peková, a Czech leader in the field of molecular biology, has stated that she does not expect a second wave.

Epidemiologist Roman Prymula, one of the most prominent figures during the outbreak in the Czech Republic, agrees that the virus has changed. Jiří Beneš, an infectious disease specialist at Prague’s Bulovka Hospital, says that while COVID-19 is here to stay, we will get used to it.

“COVID-19 is not a medieval plague, it is a respiratory viral infection that we can deal with,” Beneš states in a new report.

Czech hospitals have recorded an increase in patients interested in getting tested ahead of planned trips to Greece, which has introduced a requirement for a negative COVID-19 test from incoming Czech tourists from Monday, August 17. Some travel agencies have said they will help to cover these costs.

Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his country has developed the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine, and that his daughter had already been inoculated. While the country plans to roll out mass vaccinations this autumn, experts warn that the vaccine has not yet been thoroughly tested.