Pharmacist with an N95 respirator mask via iStock / MJ_Prototype

Czech healthcare lacks up to one million respirators, says Health Minister

The Czech health sector is short of up to one million respirators it needs to tackle the coronavirus
Tip: Visit Expats.cz Health for more health & wellness resources in Prague & the Czech Republic!

Prague, March 14 (CTK) – The number of coronavirus cases in Czechia stands at 189 now, 39 more than this morning, which is the biggest daily increase so far, Health Minister Adam Vojtech (for ANO) said, mentioning two infected doctors from the hospitals in Olomouc and Breclav, both in Moravia.

The first three cases appeared in the Czech Republic on March 1. New coronavirus has been confirmed in patients in all of the country’s 14 regions since.

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According to the Health Ministry’s information updated by 17:30, which still put the number of cases at 177, the highest number of infected people has been reported in Prague, followed by the regions of Central Bohemia, Olomouc, Usti and Zlin.

Among the rising number of patients with coronavirus, the number of those in a serious or critical condition remains minimal. There is still only one such patient, who stays at the intensive care unit in Prague’s Bulovka hospital, Vojtech said.

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None of the patients has recovered for the time being. Some of them have no symptoms of the disease, but tests show the virus’s continuing presence in them, Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula told Czech Radio today, and Vojtech confirmed the information.

The central Moravian Olomouc Region has 21 coronavirus cases now, its governor Ladislav Oklestek (ANO) has tweeted.

One of the patients is a doctor from the urgent care ward in the Olomouc University Hospital, which is why all his patients and personnel, some 30 people, must stay in quarantine. The doctor returned from Greece one week ago.

The Olomouc Town hall has announced in a press release that all town hall buildings and the municipal police stations will will remain closed over the virus outbreak from Monday, March 16, to March 24, based on the town emergency body’s decision.

In Breclav, south Moravia, the infected doctor is a resident of Slovakia who commutes to work in the local hospital. He tested positively for coronavirus in the Brno University Hospital on Friday and left for Bratislava to stay in isolation at home.

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The number of coronavirus cases started rising increasingly in Czechia on Tuesday, March 10, when 25 new cases appeared. On Wednesday, there were 31 new cases, on Thursday 22 and on Friday 25.

On Thursday, the government declared a 30-day state of emergency over the epidemic, with cultural and sports events being cancelled. As of this morning, shops, with some exceptions, have remained closed as have all restaurants and bars. Some of them have offered food delivery to people’s home.

The ban does not apply to food stores, drugstores, pharmacies, petrol stations and other facilities.

As of Monday, foreigners will be banned from entering the Czech Republic, with some exceptions, and Czechs will be banned from leaving the country.

A Czech national is among the new five coronavirus cases reported by Vietnam today.

Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said the infected man has been treated by doctors in Ho Chi Minh City.

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“This is the first case of a Czech citizen testing positive abroad,” Petricek told CTK.

The Czech embassy in Vietnam has addressed the man and provided assistance for him. According to its information, the man had himself tested after showing symptoms of the coronavirus infection.

Tip: Visit Expats.cz Health for more health & wellness resources in Prague & the Czech Republic!

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