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New coronavirus or Covid-19 Prague and Czech Republic update

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The Covid-19 virus brought new measures to the Czech Republic. With cases quickly growing to over 10,000 in Italy, and surrounding countries running over a thousand cases each, the Czech Republic has decided to try and get ahead of the virus and stop its spread.

Yesterday, Tuesday March 10, the Minister of Health Adam Vojtech (ANO) announced that schools will be closed, country-wide, as of Wednesday March 11 for an unspecified amount of time. This means that students can continue learning over the internet or through apps which can be provided by schools or teachers. The estimated time for the closures will be either one or two weeks.

Hospital visits and visits to some homes for the elderly have already been restricted and are highly encouraged to be delayed.

Furthermore, all activities which have groups larger than 100 people are cancelled. This means entertainment, music, theatres, films, sports, places of worship and this includes public and private. So in short – everything! There was no date given, but certainly this is not for a few days. People should plan for weeks.

The reason was that on Monday the first case of Covid-19, which was not directly traceable to a specific area or person, was found. The person was an Uber driver. The hygiene teams are now trying to locate the 90 or so passengers the driver has come into contact with recently.

Calling on various contacts around Prague, the Prague Monitor learned that many businesses have started communicating action plans. Employees should practice proper hygiene aka. proper hand-washing, coughing procedures etc. Some employers are encouraging home office, especially if a member of their family has flu symptoms. Returning from business trip from high risk areas should lead an employee to self-quarantine for two weeks.

The Prague Monitor is proud that the Czech Republic seems to be reacting to the virus seriously and ahead of some of our Western neighbors. Medical professionals have been repeating for many days or even weeks that “this is not a drill.” Although economic costs will be material in the short-term, there is a need to give medical staff time to make plans and pharmaceutical companies time to develop vaccines. In the medium to long term, those who stop the spread early, will benefit most. It is time for all residents to act appropriately.

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