More than 8,500 new cases in the Czech Republic

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In the Czech Republic, the number of coronavirus infections continues to rise sharply. Yesterday, 8,618 new cases were reported to the authorities, as became known on Saturday. That was almost 3,300 more than the day before. It is the fourth daily record in a row. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 905 deaths associated with Covid-19 disease.

In the Czech Republic, which has a population of almost 10.7 million, theaters, cinemas, museums, galleries and sports facilities will have to close for an initial two weeks from Monday. Prime Minister Andrej Babis had no longer ruled out a lockdown, i.e. a shutdown of economic activity and social life.

President Milos Zeman contradicted this. “This country cannot afford a second economic crash,” the 76-year-old told the newspaper “MF Dnes” (Saturday edition). At the same time, he called for “draconian, downright military measures” in the area of leisure activities.

Sharp criticism of the government’s crisis communication came from former president Vaclav Klaus. The 79-year-old’s neoliberal think tank in Prague announced that scaring the citizens and threatening them with further aggravation was dubious. A rational approach was often not recognizable. With his statements about a possible lockdown, the prime minister is causing enormous economic damage, even if it should not come to that.

— Hector Pascua, with reports from ORF.at/agencies. Picture: stockilyapp.com

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