The Czech Republic registered a record one-day tally of 14,968 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the Health Ministry said, as the government ordered most shops to close and tightened restrictions to curb the virus’s spread.
The country has recorded 208,915 infections since March. Deaths have risen to 1,739, the ministry said on Thursday, up from 1,619 reported a day earlier, which includes 69 deaths on Wednesday along with revisions to previous days.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen over the past two weeks from 32.81 new cases per 100,000 people on Oct. 7 to 92.88 new cases per 100,000 people on Wednesday.
New restrictions take effect from today. The Czech government on Wednesday ordered:
- Most of the shops will be closed, with the exception of stores with a basic assortment of goods.
- Only groceries, drugstores, and pharmacies will be open in the malls. Restrictions on movement and contact except to travel to work, to visit family, go shopping, and to doctor appointments.
- Walks in nature and in parks are allowed – for a maximum of two people, with the exception of family members and co-workers.
- People are allowed to visit the countryside or parks in the company of no more than one other person.
Health Minister Roman Prymula said the Czech health system would soon reach the limits of its capacity, despite massive increases in the number of beds and curbs on non-essential care, and that hospitals would run short of beds and personnel in November without immediate action.
“Czech hospitals are three weeks away from being overwhelmed, and our health system would collapse between November 7-11′ if new restrictions were not imposed,” the Minister added.