Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Czech Republic updates the self-quarantine rules

By Irina Nikolaeva | Prague Daily Monitor |
15 September 2020

Adam Vojtěch, the Minister of Health, introduced the new rules of self-quarantine which will be in operation from this Tuesday. People who were in contact with the infected ones won’t have to self-quarantine themselves if they had masks or respirators on during the conversation. Also, people who were infected with COVID-19 over the last 90 days and met another infected person, won’t be put in self-quarantine since they already have immunity for at least 90 days.

Also, Vojtěch announced the new self-reporting system where infected citizens will be able to list the people who they recently contacted in person. This is supposed to lower the workload on the hygiene stations, which are already busy with performing tests. According to PM Andrej Babis, the Czech Republic is testing massively. On Friday, laboratories performed more than 18000 tests, compared to Slovakia where they had done 5000 of them, he said.

Vojtěch argued that the number of infected people is mostly the news for the media. He suggested focusing more on the healthcare system and whether there is enough capacity in hospitals for people with serious symptoms, requiring such treatments as lung ventilation. According to Vojtěch, currently, hospitals have enough space for cases like these. If the capacity won’t be enough, they are ready to reprofile the already existing hospital departments.

Babiš asked the citizens to wear masks everywhere if it's possible. He added that it's important to perform solidarity, so the effect on the economy and tourism won’t be that traumatic. However, a ban that doesn’t allow people to leave home further than 500 meters, which was introduced in Israel this weekend, is not an option for the Czech Republic, Babiš said.

During the press conference Vojtěch added that from this Monday, the Czech Post will be sending masks to citizens, who are over 60 years old because they have a big risk of getting severely infected. They are also considering sending masks to teachers in schools. The schools will continue working in the offline regime.