Sunday, January 16, 2022

Infection cases in Czech Republic hit new record level, president leaves for home

PRAGUE (AP) – Coronavirus infection in the Czech Republic hit a new all-time high on Friday, a surge that startled the country’s president and postponed the appointment of a new prime minister.

The Ministry of Health said that the daily number of new cases on the previous day was 27,717. This is almost 2 thousand more than the previous record set on Tuesday.

The country’s infection rate has climbed to a new all-time high of 1,231 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days.

Meanwhile, Czech President Milos Zeman will be discharged from the Prague military hospital on Saturday. The day before, he was discharged after more than a month of treatment for an unspecified illness, but was only re-hospitalized a few hours after testing positive for COVID-19. According to the hospital, the president received monoclonal antibodies and has no symptoms of COVID-19.

Zeman, 77, was admitted to hospital on October 10, the day after the elections to the lower house of parliament, where he was treated in an intensive care unit. His condition was associated with an unspecified chronic illness.

The president’s office said that after his dismissal, Zeman will swear allegiance to Petr Fiala, leader of the winning coalition, as the country’s new prime minister. The ceremony was supposed to take place on Friday.

“Everyone is interested in a new government as soon as possible,” Fiala said.

The office said the ceremony will be organized in line with current measures to combat coronavirus, but details are unknown. Those who test positive should be isolated in the Czech Republic.

The new record was announced a day after the Czech government declared a 30-day state of emergency and imposed additional restrictions on the coronavirus in its efforts to combat the outbreak.

Other measures, which took effect Friday, banned all Christmas markets across the country, as well as drinking alcohol in public places. Bars, restaurants, nightclubs, discos and casinos close at 22:00.

The number of people at cultural and sporting events will be limited to 1000 people who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, while all other social events can be attended by up to 100 visitors, up from 1000.

In a country with a population of 10.7 million, 32,643 fatalities have been reported.

The Czech Republic has also banned foreigners who have spent more than 12 hours in the past two weeks in South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia in response to the novel coronavirus, the Foreign Ministry said. On Friday.

Exceptions are EU citizens and Czech permanent residents.

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Follow all AP pandemic stories at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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