Alert level map: no Czech districts show risk of community transmission

The Ministry of Health has updated the map of alert levels according to the risk of COVID-19 contagion. The alert levels are based on the current epidemiological situation. The districts in the Czech Republic are largely white, while Prague and Frýdek-Místek remain green without a risk of community transmission but with local outbreaks.

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After the 32nd week (for the period 31 July to 6 August 2020), most districts are white with zero risk of contagion. There are 2 districts in the green zone where there have been incidences of contagion without community transfer in the Czech Republic, those being Prague and Frýdek-Místek. Currently, the highest number of persons with COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants is in Frýdek-Místek (203 per 100,000), while the lowest is in Prague (89 per 100,000). The highest number of newly diagnosed cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 7 days was again registered in Frýdek-Místek (82.9 per 100,000), while Prague had the least (24.9 per 100,000).

“Today’s map of alert levels is more favourable than the last one. For the 31st week, the traffic light system indicated 9 districts with the first (green, meaning moderate) level of risk. The second and third levels of risk have still not been applied. Only Prague and Frýdek-Místek remain green. The COVID-19 epidemic thus remains under control and without community transmission. We are currently strengthening the capacities of public health authority lines, of sampling points and laboratories, and the smart quarantine system in general. We are continuously monitoring the situation and evaluating further measures. We are consistently in contact with the regional public health authorities, which implement the respective measures at local outbreak points or regions based on the individual risk levels,” said Chief Hygienist Jarmila Rážová.

Prague Capital City has been on the brink of the risk of community transfer for some time, but only 17% of the detected cases have no definite source. Despite the high incidence of newly diagnosed patients, the situation is under control. As the risk trends are not escalating and there is no apparent rise in the risk for vulnerable population groups, alert level I was issued for Prague. The issuing of this alert level is an expert decision by the Prague Public Health Authority and the division of the Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic at the MoH.

The epidemiological situation is also generally calming down in the Moravian-Silesian region. The only district where the situation is still not developing favourably is Frýdek-Místek. We have currently observed substantial increases in newly diagnosed patients and the incidence of new major outbreaks which threaten vulnerable population groups. The development of the situation depends on the handling of current epidemiologically relevant findings. “There is a heightened focus on vulnerable population groups without an increase in the number of hospitalised patients requiring intensive care. The epidemiological situation is under control and there is no generalised spread on a regional scale,” said Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic Jarmila Rážová, explaining the situation.

The alert levels are primarily published as an information service for citizens and an early warning system for the changing epidemiological situation. “A total of 25 parameters derived from the weekly summaries of daily monitoring are evaluated. The final decision on an alert level for a given area is made based on the expertise of epidemiologists and hygienics,” added the Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic, while a significant role is played by the assessment of the risk of community transmission, meaning the risk of uncontrolled spread through the population during which the respective regional public health authority cannot determine the origin of a substantial number of the detected contagions.

The system, which identifies the individual districts according to the degree of COVID-19 contagion, is divided into four alert levels – white, green, yellow, and red – and is known as the traffic light system. White means zero or negligible risk, green indicates the incidence of contagion without community transmission in CZ, yellow indicates incipient community transmission, and red means rising or lasting community transmission in CZ. The Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic updates the map of alert levels on a weekly basis.