According to the Czech Anti-Epidemic System (PES), the risk score remains at 57, but the situation still varies in the regions

According to the Czech Anti-Epidemic System, the summarised risk index for the Czech Republic is at 57, which equates to alert level three. The current epidemiological situation in the Czech Republic remains similar to last week, with a slow decline visible on a national scale.

The regions will be classified in the respective levels based on epidemiological indicators, such as the 14-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants, a simplified calculation of the reproduction number, test positivity and the 14-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants focused on groups of senior citizens.

The current value of the summarised risk index for the Czech Republic is 57. This is a level which corresponds to alert level three. However, the situation is complicated by the different risk scores in the individual regions. While the risk score is 49 in Prague, for example, it is 71 in the Liberec region.

“Despite the fact that the composite risk index for the Czech Republic is on a level corresponding to alert level 3, differences remain between the individual regions. The good news is that the “effect of opening schools” has not been observed yet,” Jan Blatný, Minister of Health, stated in explanation of the current situation.

The score is evaluated in colour for the entire region, but the values can also be calculated for smaller administrative units. Depending on the score, the regions are classified into five alert levels, which are linked to the respective anti-epidemic measures concerning e.g. the wearing of masks, assembly, shops, culture and education, as well as their easing.

“Easing is governed by the figure which is common for the entire country, so as to avoid situations where people move to the areas with fewer restrictions. The current epidemiological situation in the Czech Republic does not differ much from the situation described last week. We can observe a moderate decline on a national scale in all the parameters, not just the number of cases. For comparison, the current values are about 20% lower than last week,” added Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic Jarmila Rážová.

The Anti-Epidemic System (PES) was development by the Ministry of Health and the Institute for Health Information and Statistics in cooperation with experts from Czech and foreign universities. The score is calculated and implemented into the online IHIS system and published on the website (only in the Czech language).

“A lasting negative aspect is that despite the overall decline in the number of cases, we still register a high share of newly diagnosed cases in the vulnerable population groups, which is currently around 20%. Given frequent polymorbidity, i.e. a situation where the patient suffers from several chronic illnesses simultaneously, this poses a higher probability of hospitalisation, including hospitalisation in intensive care units. In absolute numbers, it is still a high number that is reflected in the number of hospitalised patients. Although these numbers have dropped from more than 8,000 to the current 4,400, this still represents a high burden which is blocking hospital capacity. The current value of the reproduction number is 0.9,” said Ladislav Dušek, Director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics.

Given the current epidemiological situation, the Czech Government has eased certain blanket measures concerning e.g. the night-time curfew and sale on Sundays.

“The situation regarding newly hospitalised patients is continuing to improve slightly across the board. Patients are currently not even being transported between individual regions. There has been an increase in the scope of renewed care, although there are differences between the regions. In the coming days, assistance from med students will be terminated, and assistance from the army will be extended in regions with a shortage of staff. Continued army assistance is being negotiated. The hospital system is still being maintained to again adapt their activities to deal with an increased number of COVID-19 patients if necessary,” stated Vladimír Černý, Deputy Health Minister, Chairman of the Czech Society of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine and head of the COVID Clinical Group.

The current measures, numbers of positively diagnosed patients and other information relating to the COVID-19 epidemic can be monitored on the special coronavirus website of the Ministry of Health koronavirus.mzcr.cz or on the government portal covid.gov.cz.