Czech officials: Pandemic is slowing down and won’t significantly worsen

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Even worst-case scenarios on the development of the Covid-19 epidemic do not see Czech hospitals running out of free capacity, Director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS) Ladislav Dušek stated to the press.

The reason behind this optimism is the high vaccination coverage among seniors, who, as the most at-risk group, accounted for almost three-quarters of hospitalizations.

There are currently 740 Covid-19 patients in hospitals, the least in the last eight months. Of this number, 133 are in serious condition. According to Dušek, patients with Covid-19 no longer limit the provision of routine hospital care. Around the middle of June, the workload in hospitals should be very low, with only a single-numbers of new Covid-19 patients. Now, hospitals accept about 30 people with Covid-19 a day, and less than a fifth of them suffer a severe course of the disease.

“We also have scenarios that operate with unfavorable development after easing of restrictions, but even in those cases, there is no chance of burdening hospitals as the vaccination of senior groups of the population,” he said.

However, Dušek added that the situation has already not deteriorated since the easing of restrictions after Easter.

One-third of infected seniors are highly likely to need hospital care. In the past week, about 600 individuals in this group tested positive. The number of infections in this category is declining more than in the entire population. Overall, there is 25 to 30 percent fewer new cases each week.

“Currently, we see that the epidemic is significantly slowing down. We do not see any fluctuation or increase. This applies to all regions,” Dušek added.

Currently, more than half of the regions are below 50 new cases per week per 100,000 inhabitants. By the end of the first week of June, according to Dušek, Czechia should reach a weekly increase of 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Thus, it will be easy to track newly infected individuals.

According to Dušek, it is now necessary to focus on high-risk infections, which occur after traveling abroad and vaccination or which take a rapid course.

Statisticians currently record about 3,600 people who tested positive after getting vaccinated. Only 0.17 percent of them became infected later than two weeks after the second dose, and 0.01 percent of those vaccinated had a severe course of the disease.

Vaccination data show that 11.6 percent of the population have completed vaccination and that about a third of people have received at least one dose.

Title image: A person gets Pfizer vaccine at the National vaccination center in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, April 9, 2021. On Friday the center, that is the biggest in the country, held its final trials before being able to vaccinate up to 10 000 people a day. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

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