The uncontrolled spread of the Covid-19 disease has been successfully stopped in the Czech Republic, and the country can start preparing for a return to normal life, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said, estimating the number of patients to reach 10,600 by the end of April.
“So far, the Czech Republic has prevented the worst-case scenario,” said Minister Vojtěch, pointing out that the Czech Republic has avoided the dire situation seen in Spain, Italy, the United States., and the United Kingdom. In the Czech Republic, hospital capacities are more than sufficient, added Vojtěch.
The minister further confirmed that the reproduction number, or the average number of people who get infected from one coronavirus patient, is close to one.
“If the reproduction number is close to one, it does not mean that the virus is eradicated. It means that, on average, one coronavirus patient infects one individual,” said Ladislav Dušek, director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics. According to him, it is important to keep studying the behavior of the virus in the Czech population.
Overall, on Thursday morning, the Czech Republic recorded 5,335 confirmed coronavirus cases with the total number of performed coronavirus tests exceeding 100,000. So far, 104 Czechs have died of coronavirus.
“We do not know the total number of infected individuals, however, we have increased testing capacity, and we know that the daily increase in new coronavirus cases looks promising. The coronavirus curve appears to be flattening,” added Dušek.
Medical centers have also boosted testing among older people who make up approximately 24 percent of all cases. According to Dušek, the death rate in this age group is low, and the primary cause of death of the older patients infected with coronavirus has to do with other health issues.
While the low increase in new coronavirus cases is promising, the government is considering easing some restrictions in order to expose more people to the virus and thus can create antibodies. Minister Vojtěch commented on building collective immunity, explaining that the ministry does not intend to let the virus spread in society uncontrollably.
“Some countries have tried that, and we can see what it caused. To some extent, the process of immunization will take place, and I believe that sooner than later there will be a vaccine,” concluded Vojtěch.