Coronavirus Flood Pushes The Czech Republic Into The Second Lockdown, Breaking Gov’t Pledges

Source: Global News

Czechs had been assured it wouldn’t occur once more.

However, in the midst of a record flood of coronavirus infections that are threatening the entire health system with collapse, the Czech Republic is embracing on Thursday the very same huge limitations it slapped on residents in the spring. Prime Minister Babis had repeatedly said these measures would never return.

“We have no time to wait,” Babis clarified Wednesday. “The flood is enormous.”

Babis apologized for the huge impact the limitations will have on everyday life yet said on the off chance that they were not taken “our health system would collapse between November, 7-11.”

“I apologize event, for the way that I precluded this alternative in the past on the grounds that I couldn’t envision it may occur,” he included. “Unfortunately, it has occurred and now, most importantly, we have to protect the lives of our citizens.”

The measures include limits on free movement and the closure of numerous stores, shopping centers, and inns. They will stay set up until in any event Nov 3.

The Czech Republic had initially set a model with its effective and fast response when the pandemic first struck, yet failed to learn from other nations’ subsequent experiences and now faces the results.

As the pandemic struck slightly later than in Western Europe, Czech authorities gained some breathing space. They used it to impose sweeping restrictions on daily life in March, and — unlike most other European countries — made mask-wearing obligatory in all public areas.

In April, the nation was the first, with Austria, to begin to ease limitations and — again unlike to most other European nations — totally surrendered them in the summer.

In June, thousands declared victory over the coronavirus at a big party on Prague’s medieval Charles Bridge. Babis, considered a populist leader, was jubilant and told an international conference in August that his country was the “best in COVID,” despite already growing numbers of infected people.

The atmosphere at Wednesday’s news conference, as Babis announced the new measures, was soberer.

“What happened was some way or another anticipated yet no one expected its scope,” Babis said.

A few experts had called much sooner for strict steps.

“(Indeed) yesterday (would have been) late, there’s a risk at each corner,” Jaroslav Flegr, a professor of evolutionary science who predicted the surge a while ago, told to Czech public TV.

Many still remember when Babis’ then health minister, Adam Vojtech, and his team proposed in August a mandatory return of masks in schools. Babis dismissed that option and fired the minister weeks later when the numbers of new infections started to grow rapidly in September.

Confirmed cases hit new record levels of almost 12,000 on Tuesday. That was very nearly 900 more than the past record set on Friday.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Czech Republic has registered 193,000 confirmed infections, around 33% of them in the previous seven days, and 1,619 individuals have died — with a record 97 deaths registered Monday.

The seven-day rolling average of day by day new cases has risen in the past of recent weeks from 29.6 per 100,000 individuals on Oct. 6 to 85.6 per 100,000 individuals on Tuesday.

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