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Confirmed coronavirus cases in Czech Republic up to 298

The Czech Republic had 298 confirmed novel coronavirus cases early in the morning, five more than at midnight
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Prague, March 16 (CTK) – The Czech Republic had 298 confirmed novel coronavirus cases early in the morning, five more than at midnight, the Health Ministry said at its special website devoted to the virus at 7:07 today.

On Sunday morning, there were 214 cases. Sanitary officials do not know the place of the infection in 46 percent of the cases. One-third got infected abroad, one-fifth in the Czech Republic.

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Health Minister Adam Vojtech (for ANO) said after a government meeting at night that sanitary officers were still trying to track down the contacts of the infected people.

Out of the countries in which Czechs got infected, there is a predominance of Italy with 76 cases, followed by Austria with 13 cases. So far, over 5,000 Czechs have been tested.

The number of the persons tested within a single day crossed 1,000 on Sunday already.

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Out of the regions, the highest number of cases (109) are in Prague, followed by the Olomouc Region with 33. In it, sanitary officials closed the towns Unicov, Cervenka and Litovel as well as another 18 nearby villages over the coronavirus this morning.

Most of the infected are at the age of 25-34 and 45-54. In both age groups, there are over 50 of them. A total of 49 and 23 of the elderly over 65 and children, respectively, have been infected.

The health condition of two patients is serious. These are two taxi drivers. One was admitted to Prague’s General Teaching Hospital recently and the other is in the Prague Bulovka hospital.

The state has sent 88,000 respirators of the FFP1 type to the social services. Last night, the military distributed 80,000 of them and in the morning, organisations reporting to the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry fetched 8,000 of them at the State Material Reserves (SSHR).

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The FFP1 type mainly protects the dust, while only the FFP3, the most efficient type, catches the viruses.

Social services operators recently complained about the shortage of respirators. On Sunday, Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) said there would be 52,000 respirators of the FFP2 and FFP3 types later today.

The military has already driven tens of thousands of respirators to hospitals and emergency services.

Health Minister Adam Vojtech (for ANO) said after the Sunday government meeting that further hundreds of thousands of respirators would be available in the days to come.

This morning, he told the Czech Radio that the state would ensure roughly 1.7 million respirators by the end of the week.

Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (CSSD) and Vojtech have called on Czechs to cover up their mouths and noses to prevent the coronavirus spread.

If a face mask is unavailable, a scarf may be used, Hamacek said.

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There is a shortage of face masks and the government wants to import them, he added.

A number of other politicians, too, have called on Czechs to wear the face masks. They say it is not funny to wear them as they can help prevent the spread of the outbreak. They also say people can produce the face masks in their own right.

Some of them have appeared on social networks with their own faces covered up by face masks.

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