What does the Czech Republic do better than Slovakia?
Czech Republic restrictive, Slovakia tests through
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has announced a possible new lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The daily infection numbers in the country are increasing sharply, the infection rate has reached the highest value among the EU member states. A curfew has already been imposed from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. The government is considering further measures to contain the coronavirus. The prime minister of neighboring Slovakia, Igor Matovic, announced that he wanted to test the entire population of his country.
In his Friday televised address, the Czech President Milo Zeman urged the population to wear face and nose masks. "Until we have a vaccine, this little piece of cloth is the only weapon we have against the Covid pandemic," said Zeman in the address that was broadcast by several stations. The President thanked all healthcare workers for their self-sacrificing work during this time of crisis. Addressing fellow citizens, Zeman appealed to act sensibly and not to follow conspiracy theorists or corona deniers, because "these people are not competent". The president supported the government's actions, even though he wished they were sometimes better communicated.
Unanimous action is also necessary, because the number of infections in the republic, which has only 10.6 million inhabitants, is increasing dramatically. In the past few days, the health authorities have reported worrying numbers of new infections with the coronavirus. 11 105 people were infected last Friday alone. Daily infection rates of around 9,000 were reported over the weekend. It must be taken into account that not all offices report figures to the central statistics on Saturdays and Sundays. A total of 168,872 people are currently ill, 1,352 patients have died as a result of Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Czech government under Andrej Babis again imposed strict measures: bars, clubs and restaurants will remain closed until further notice. More than six people are not allowed to gather. Masks are also required in public spaces. President Zeman advocated punishing refusal with severe fines.
Football and ice hockey fans gathered in Prague's Old Town Square on Sunday for a protest against the government's drastic measures. As Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (CSSD), who followed the action from the Prague police, explained that "a few thousand hooligans" had gathered in the center of Prague. Most of them did not wear masks. The police were reinforced by several hundred and cracked down on them. Firearms, striking weapons and pyrotechnics were found among the protesters - most of whom also belonged to the right-wing spectrum. The protests were directed primarily against Health Minister Roman Prymula, who initiated the strict Corona requirements. Shouts like "Prymula in the gas" were loud on the Old Town Square. The police arrested several dozen people.
The number of infections is also increasing significantly in the neighboring Slovak Republic. Prime Minister Igor Matovic therefore announced that every citizen, including children, would be tested in the next two weeks. According to the Prime Minister's office, 13 million test kits have been ordered for this mass action, which has no example in the history of the country with a population of 5.5 million. In the first half of October, around 16,000 people were newly infected with the corona virus. So far, the small Danube Republic has recorded only 88 deaths. The government emphasizes that it wants to adhere to the strict hygiene measures to prevent the pandemic from spreading.
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