A woman receiving a coronavirus swab test. Photo: iStock

Czech Republic coronavirus updates, August 5: 290 new cases, total reaches record high

Despite the high number of people known to be infected with coronavirus, there are just 118 people hospitalized due to the virus

The Czech Republic reported 290 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infected people to a record 4,923, according to the latest statistics released by the Czech Health Ministry this morning.

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Despite the high number of people known to be infected with coronavirus, there are just 118 people hospitalized due to the virus, corrected from yesterday’s number of 94. It’s crucial for experts that the number of the hospitalized and those in need of intensive care is not changing dramatically. Of those hospitalized, only 19 are in serious condition, according to officials.

So far, there have been 383 COVID-19-related deaths; more than 11,800 people have recovered from the virus as well, according to the Czech Health Ministry.

During the week, officials continue to conduct more COVID-19 tests. A total of 7,235 people were tested for the virus on Monday, a similar number of last week. Over the weekend, far fewer tests are conducted. On Monday, only 2.9 percent of those tested for the virus tested positive. That’s a difference from the 3.83 percent positive rate on Sunday, according to the ministry’s corrected data.

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The most affected region is the Frýdek-Místek district, where there have been 65 positive cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days. Part of that increase comes from an outbreak in the region at a choir, where 23 members of the choir and their relatives became infected with the virus. In addition, there was an outbreak at a sanitary facility in Jablunkov and 18 people came down with coronavirus.

In the Moravian-Silesian region, officials recorded 46 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, a sharp increase from the 22 positive cases recorded on Sunday. However, far fewer tests are conducted on the weekend.

Other affected regions include the Prachatice region, which registered 35 new infections per 100,000 people; Tabor, where there are 21 positive cases per 100,000 people; and Prague and Prague West, which each have over 20 new cases per 100,000.

The Domažlice, Rokycany, and Jeseník regions are the only regions in the country with zero positive cases per 100,000, though many regions across the country recorded low numbers.

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On Monday, the Health Ministry unveiled the “traffic lights” system or a map of districts according to the epidemiological situation. Prague, Prague-West, Prague-East, Ostrava, Karvina, Frydek-Mistek, Brno, Jihlava, and Prachatice are the districts within the first, “green” risk level.

The rest of the districts are “white” or without a risk of the infection. In the “green” regions, new cases do occur, but the illness does not spread in the community. 

An epidemiologist from the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) told iDnes the virus has started to weaken, however, it’s important to still behave responsibly and avoid crowded places like bars.

“The virus is starting to weaken,” epidemiologist Petr Smejkal said. “But infectivity does not decrease. Every virus needs its host, if it kills its host, it will no longer be able to spread.”

In an interview this week, the Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic, Jarmila Rážová, said officials have no plans to close clubs right now, even in light of the spread of coronavirus at the Techtle Mechtle club in Prague 2.

Following the coronavirus outbreak at the Prague club Techtle Mechtle, the owners are speaking out about how the publicity has affected their business. The club in Vinohrady became one of the most well-known clubs after an outbreak of COVID-19 was linked to a party in the club.

However, the publicity has had a negative impact, co-owner Roman Beneš told iDnes. The club has seen declining visitors and the owners are considering criminal charges.

Officials continue to lay out proposals to determine how people in quarantine can vote this fall. One of the plans up for debate is a drive-through voting option where voters could throw their votes into a ballot box. Officials are also discussing how to handle voting in nursing homes.

In addition, face masks may soon be introduced indoors across Prague, Mayor Zdeněk Hřib said after a City Council meeting on Monday.

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