New PES System to Manage Relaxation of Anti-Pandemic Measures in Czech Republic

According to the new PES anti-pandemic system, the Czech Republic is currently at the most serious fifth level of risk. However, with decreasing daily numbers of new coronavirus cases, the government could begin relaxing control measures on Monday, November 23rd, Health Minister Jan Blatný told journalists on Friday. At the fourth level, children can go back to school and social groups of up to six people could be allowed again. Title image: Ministry of Health.

Czech Rep., Nov 16 (BD) – “Epidemiological indicators and data from the last two weeks indicate to us that the Czech Republic is probably past the worst point of the epidemic. We have therefore decided that it would be appropriate for 1st and 2nd grade pupils to return to schools on November 18th. But it would be a mistake to think that the epidemic in the Czech Republic is over. On the contrary, we expect the numbers of newly diagnosed patients to remain relatively high,” said Blatný on Friday. Another positive development is the drop in the reproductive number R, which indicates the average number of people who will be infected by one positive patient. The R number is currently 0.8.

According to Blatný, the transition to the lower fourth risk level could happen next Monday. The Czech Republic is currently at the fifth, most serious level, but the PES index score is 70, corresponding to the fourth risk category. According to Blatný, however, it is necessary to maintain the lower risk rating for at least a week before considering transition to the lower risk level with relaxation of measures.

According to “PES” (Protiepidemický Systém), the 14 Czech regions will be classified into five levels, which correspond to different levels of anti-epidemic measures. The current epidemiological situation, including developments in the near future, will be scored on a colour-coded scale of 0-100. The Ministry of Health says that the new evaluation system will bring better clarity and predictability to epidemiological developments.

Restaurants will, for example, operate with some restrictions at all five levels of risk, with takeaway windows only in the fourth and fifth stages; indoor sports grounds for recreational sports will be closed.

From November 16th, the newly-calculated PES index will be published daily on the data portal of the Ministry of Health.

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