Government Announces New Measures to Halt the Spread of COVID-19
Prime Minister Andrej Babis held a press conference after another emergency meeting of the Czech Goverment. He began with words of thanks to everybody who is following the rules of the quarantine.
Czech Rep., Mar 16 (BD) – Two new hospitals will be prepared to treat COVID-19 patients, in Homolka (Prague) and St. Ann’s Hospital (Brno). According to Babis, the preparation of hospitals is now an “absolute priority”, and the Government ordered the new ventilators from China.
Hospitals should postpone all non-acute cases and focus on managing the increasing number of coronavirus cases.
People over 70 years of age were told that they should not leave their homes.
“We have things to learn from China,” said Babis, explaining that China was the first country to successfully deal with the spread of COVID-19.
150,000 quick-tests will be brought back to the Czech Republic on a plane that left for China today. Seven other planes will fly to China tomorrow to pick up further medical supplies, including those donated by the PPF group.
Babis announced that shops selling electronics, household appliances and haberdashery may reopen, so people can sew their own masks at home.
The government adjusted regulations for the hospitality sector; foreigners that are staying in Czech hotels and other accommodation facilities can remain there for the moment.
Babis said that the number of cases of COVID-19 will be increasing, and that the priority now is to build up a “robust medical system”.
Tomorrow morning, the government will meet again to discuss further measures to help businesses and the self-employed. “We will help our companies,” said Babis. Several measures to help businesses were announced yesterday.
Health Minister Adam Vojtech said that 1.4 million respirators should arrive in the country by Friday. He dismissed reports that one of the patients in Prague (hospital Na Bulovce) had died as “fake news”, saying that the man is on a ventilator but stable. According to Vojtech, there are currently two other patients on ventilators in a stable condition.