Czechs to wait two weeks before considering full lockdown By


© . People attend an outdoor mass in Prague


PRAGUE () – The Czech Republic, which has the highest coronavirus infection rate in Europe, will wait at least two weeks before deciding whether to order a full lockdown to stem its epidemic, Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlicek said on Sunday.

In the past week, bars and restaurants have been ordered to close except for takeout orders, and schools have been shifted to distance learning. Sport and fitness clubs, theatres and cinemas had already been shut, but shops have remained open.

On Saturday, the Czech Republic reported 8,713 new coronavirus cases, its largest daily total at a weekend. And the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said it had registered 828 cases per 100,000 population in the last two weeks, more than 10 times the rate in neighbouring Germany.

Since Czech schools reopened in September, the cumulative number of cases has risen almost seven times.

“We will not decide this week about a lockdown,” Havlicek said on Czech Television. “We have clearly said we will wait (until Nov. 2) for results.”

Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said on CNN Prima’s Sunday show the combination of new measures should help cut the R number, which measures the average spread from one infected person, by 30-40%. A number above 1.0 indicates an exponential increase, and the current rate is estimated at around 1.4.

The growth in cases, with almost 100,000 since the start of October in a country of 10.7 million, and 1,352 deaths from COVID-19, is forcing authorities to make plans for field hospitals and foreign help.

Around 500 sports fans, including militant soccer supporters’ groups known as ultras, protested in Prague on Sunday against the coronavirus restrictions, defying a ban on gatherings.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.