Czech academics and scholars say the government's next anti-COVID steps should rely on experts

In an open letter, the society criticised the Czech government for it chaotic and inconsistent handling of the pandemic


Written by ČTK
Published on 18.09.2020 08:15 (updated on 18.09.2020)

Prague, Sept 17 (CTK) — Any further steps taken by the Czech government to curb the coronavirus epidemic should be based on the qualified views of experts in public health, epidemiology, and infection medicine, the Board of the Czech Learned Society has said.

The Learned Society recommends the government follow the lead of neighbouring where the coronavirus situation is markedly better than in the Czech Republic.

The society, an eight-member board headed by chemist and university teacher Pavel Jungwirth, is also asking the government to reassess its testing strategy to ensure that effective and rapid testing of symptomatic individuals is introduced as soon as possible.

“We are watching with great concern the widespread spread of COVID-19 infection in the Czech population,” the society said in a statement released on its website earlier this week.

It goes on to say, “The government’s announced relaxation of anti-epidemic measures at the end of the first wave of the pandemic has proven to be a big mistake, the consequences of which will haunt us in the coming weeks and months.”

According to the Learned Society, the recent spike in new infections is the result of the insufficient consultation with infectious medicine experts.

It has publicly criticised the Czech government for it chaotic and inconsistent handling of the pandemic, pointing out the Health Ministry’s decision to develop its own vaccine against COVID-19 as just one example of it incompetence.

The Czech Learned Society has 98 regular, 49 foreign and 17 emeritus members.

In Czechia, the coronavirus has spread faster than in most other European countries. Spain and France are the only EU countries with more cases per capita in the last 14 days.

On Wednesday, 2,139 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the Czech Republic, the highest daily number since the epidemic outbreak in March.