Czech Republic coronavirus updates, September 15: 1,038 new cases, Slovakia adds Czechia to red list

The Czech neighbor is the latest European country to impose travel restrictions on the Czech Republic

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 15.09.2020 09:19 (updated on 15.09.2020)

There were 1,038 new COVID-19 cases reported in the Czech Republic yesterday, according to the latest data from the Czech Health Ministry posted this morning.

After a dip on Sunday, the number of new cases has risen above 1,000 for the seventh time in the past eight days. At the previous height of the pandemic in March, the daily number of cases reached a maximum of 377.

New regulations to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the Czech Republic are now in effect. Face masks are required in most indoor spaces, with some exceptions. Bars and clubs must close between the hours of midnight and six a.m. In Prague, all clients must disinfect their hands when entering restaurants, shops, and other public buildings.

Speaking at a press conference following a Government Council for Health Risks yesterday, Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said that further measures may be imposed based on the ratio of new cases by tests performed, including lockdown measures similar to the ones taken earlier this year. He added that they would be targeted locally, however, not nationwide.

“I cannot rule it out that some anti-epidemic measures will be imposed. We cannot think that the figures will diminish automatically. Further measures are likely to be taken,” Vojtěch said, referencing the percentage of positive tests over the past days.

“The figure of 8-9 percent is relatively high. Let us wait and see how this will develop in the days to come. Depending on this, we may take further measures.”

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New changes regarding the quarantine process will also come into effect next week, according to the Health Minister. Those include self-reporting, where COVID-19 patients fill out a list of possible contacts themselves rather than through health officials. Quarantine will not be needed for all of those contacts, provided both parties wore a face mask when they met.

Vojtěch also stated that the country’s hospitals are still able to deal with considerably more cases.

There are currently 305 patients with COVID-19 being hospitalized in the Czech Republic. Of those, 74 are considered to be in serious condition. Those numbers have both roughly tripled over the past month.

In total, there have now been 37,222 COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic since the start of the outbreak earlier this year. There have been 22,129 recoveries and 465 COVID-19-related deaths in that span, leaving 14,628 known active cases, the highest that number has been.

Prague continues to be the country’s most-affected locality, with about 142 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days.

Plzeň-South (132 cases), Beroun (130), Kladno (123), Prague-West (114), Prague-East (112), Uherské Hradiště (110), Benešov (103), Pardubice, and Plzeň (101) have all reported more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents over the past week.

As the number of cases in the Czech Republic continues to surge, additional European states are placing the country on their lists of risk areas, which either bar general travel or require quarantine or a negative COVID-19 test upon entry.

Last week, Germany and Belgium placed Prague on their red list, but not the rest of the country, requiring quarantine (Germany) and a negative test (Belgium) for travelers coming from the Czech capital. Denmark has placed the Czech Republic on its orange list, prohibiting general travel from the Czech Republic with some exceptions.

Yesterday, Slovakia placed the Czech Republic on its red list, requiring a negative COVID-19 test or 5-day quarantine for travelers coming from the Czech Republic.

Additional measures taken both within the Czech Republic, and by other European countries in reaction to the rising Czech COVID-19 numbers, are expected to come this week.