Illustrative coronavirus concept via iStock.com / 4X-image

Spreading coronavirus may be classified as a criminal offense, says Czech PM

The spreading of coronavirus may be qualified as crime in the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has told media.
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Prague, March 13 (CTK) – The spreading of coronavirus may be qualified as crime in Czechia, since Justice Minister Marie Benesova has put the disease on the list of contagious diseases that can be subject to such qualification, and the cabinet approved the relevant directive today, PM Andrej Babiš has told media.

The Czech Republic registers 120 coronavirus patients for the moment, an increase by three since the morning, Health Minister Adam Vojtech said. About 2,500 people have been tested so far.

On Thursday, the government declared the state of emergency over the infection.

The state of emergency is declared based on the national security law. Along with declaring it, the government has to specify which rights of Czech citizens have been restricted and what duties introduced.

The government can order, for example, evacuation of people and property from a certain area or ban the entry into, stay and movement at certain places.

When declaring the state of emergency on Thursday, Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said the police, in cooperation with the Czech Social Security Administration (CSSZ), will check the observance of the compulsory quarantine by the Czechs returning home from risk countries. Those who would be caught breaching the duty might be fined up to three million crowns, Hamacek said.

The duty of quarantine originally applied to the Czechs returning from Italy. The cabinet extended the number of the risk countries by another 14 states today, banning their citizens’ entry into Czechia and Czechs’ travelling to these countries, which are China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Britain, Norway, Denmark and France.

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