On Tuesday evening, the Czech Chamber of Deputies approved the Hungarian government’s proposal to extend the state of emergency by 30 days until Jan. 22 as the health ministry currently mulls when to introduce the highest category of the anti-epidemic system, characterized by closure of most shops and a night curfew. The extension of the state of emergency was supported by 55 legislators out of 105 present.
“The epidemiological situation is not good, hospitals are starting to fill up. The extension of the state of emergency is important so that there is no chaos and the lives of our citizens are not endangered,” Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said while defending the extension of the state of emergency in the lower house of the Czech Parliament. According to Health Minister Jan Blatný, the epidemiological outlook remains poor. “The development of the epidemic gained speed corresponding to a reproduction number of 1.2 to 1.3. It is necessary to realize that the number of newly infected people is increasing, and it may have an impact on health care. The situation shows very risky trends and interventions cannot be ruled out even during Christmas,“ he told the Chamber of Deputies. During the autumn wave of the epidemic, the Chamber of Deputies had already received three requests from the government to extend the state of emergency. The cabinet always wanted a month but rarely succeeded.
The state of emergency was extended by 17, 22, and lastly 11 days. On Tuesday, tests revealed 10,821 new cases of Covid-19 in Czechia, which is the highest number since Nov. 6. Currently, about 89,000 patients are being treated for the infection, 4,782 of them in hospitals. Title image: Health Minister Jan Blatný