Officials from the State Institute of Public Health are claiming that the new “delta variant” of COVID-19 is beginning to spread in the Czech Republic, threatening a return to lockdowns.
Molecular geneticist Jan Pačes from the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Academy of Sciences, says that a failure to screen for the variant at airports likely resulted in its spreading.
“The delta is spreading twice as fast as alpha, the former British variant. And we remember how it was with the alpha when it appeared here. It quickly pushed out all the other variants and outgrew them.
We should have guarded the borders and airports and isolated everything, but we’ve missed our chance and now there’s nothing we can do. A full-area lockdown to eradicate the virus is no longer possible, so we have to see what happens with the variant.”
Pačes says to dodge the delta variant, the Czech Republic would have to vaccinate 80% of the country. Since that’s highly unlikely, the only solution is more restrictions.
“We would need at least 80% to be vaccinated because of the speed with which this variant spreads. However, as we won’t reach such a number, restrictive measures await us in the fall. I don’t know what the government will introduce, but we can certainly expect masks indoors and bans on large events.”