In the Czech Republic, the government declared a 30-day-long state of emergency from midnight on Thursday (25th November), Prime Minister Andrej Babis announced during a break in the government meeting on Thursday.
The prime minister justified the declaration of an emergency with the growing number of coronavirus patients treated in hospitals. “The growing number of patients is causing more and more problems in hospitals,” Andrej Babis pointed out. On the other hand, the government will decide at its extraordinary meeting on new precautionary measures that could not be introduced without a state of emergency.
According to the government’s decision, presented by health ministers Andrej Babis and Adam Vojtech at a press conference after the cabinet meeting, restaurants, bars and clubs in the Czech Republic will be closed from 10pm to 5pm from Friday. Restaurants will be closed in the malls and food will only be available to take away. Alcohol will be banned in all public areas. The organization of Christmas fairs and markets was also banned, with the exception of the sale of Christmas trees and fish. However, fairs and markets open all year round remain open. Cultural and sporting events can now be visited by up to a thousand people, and the maximum number of participants at other events – social gatherings, balls – has been limited to a hundred people. Attendance at funerals is not restricted. Participants in mass events must provide proof of vaccination against Covid-19 and that they have not been infected for more than six months.
“The measures are aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus epidemic as much as possible,” said Adam Vojtech.
According to Czech media reports, the situation is most severe in the Moravian regions. On Thursday, for example, 19 patients were transported from a hospital in Brno to Prague because there is no longer room for them in Brno. In the context of the epidemic, there has been two emergencies in the Czech Republic so far: first from mid-March last year to mid-May, and then from early October with several extensions until mid-April this year. Under current law, the government must immediately notify the House of Representatives of the declaration of a state of emergency, which may approve it, but may lift it. In the Czech Republic, the number of confirmed coronavirus infections per day has been rising rapidly since early November. Laboratory screenings revealed a record number of nearly 26,000 new infections on Tuesday. There are currently 5,900 patients in the hospitals, 850 of whom are in serious condition. The worst situation in this area was in March, when 9,500 people were treated in hospitals, 2,000 of them were in intensive care units. Doctors say the current high number of daily infections will show up in the number of patients in about two weeks.