Health Minister establishes National Institute for Pandemic Management, to be headed by epidemiologist Roman Chlíbek

Health Minister Vlastimil Válek has established the National Institute for Pandemic Management (NIZP), which is headed by epidemiologist Roman Chlíbek.  The Institute’s task is to produce expert recommendations and opinions for the Ministry of Health, which are then dealt with by the Central Management Team (CŘT).  The CŘT works closely with the NIZP and analyses the impacts, benefits and feasibility of the recommendations made. These are presented to the ministers dealing with covid-19, regional representatives and also to the Central Crisis Committee.  The Institute, which has been operating informally for several months, is composed of leading scientists and experts and meets regularly on a weekly basis.

The National Institute for Epidemic Management (NIZP) is headed by Roman Chlíbek from the University of Defense, an epidemiologist and chairman of the Czech Society of Vaccinology of ČLS JEP, who will also head the Immunology and Vaccinology Group.

The NIZP also consists of other expert groups: The Analytical Group led by Lenka Pribylova from the Institute of Mathematics and Statistics of Masaryk University in Brno, the covid-19 Epidemiology and Prevention Group led by Rastislav Maďar, epidemiologist and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ostrava, the covid-19 Laboratory Diagnostics Group led by Pavel Dřevínek, head of the Institute of Medical Microbiology, and the covid-19 Treatment and Clinic Group led by Pavel Dlouhý, Chairman of the Society of Infectious Medicine of ČLS JEP.  Ethical issues are consulted with the advisor to the Minister of Health, Marek Orko Vácha, Head of the Institute of Ethics and Humanities of the 3rd Medical Faculty of Charles University.

The Institute develops expert opinions and recommendations that will enable the Czech Republic to manage the covid-19 epidemic as effectively as possible.  These measures are subsequently discussed by the Central Management Team and by the ministers involved in the covid-19 epidemic. In the course of preparation, the measures are consulted not only with the Association of Regions headed by Martin Kuba, without whose cooperation it would be impossible to manage the pandemic, but also with employer and employee associations.

The National Institute for Pandemic Management also works closely with an inter-ministerial group under the Office of the Government to analyze the economic and social perspective, so as to ensure a comprehensive view of the measures.

“So far, the Czech Republic has lacked a universally respected authority that represents the expert opinions of the relevant committees of the Czech Medical Society of Jan Evangelista Purkyně and provides independent support for the Ministry of Health, as is the case in Germany with the Koch Institute. I am glad that we now have this authority in the form of the National Institute for Pandemic Management,” Health Minister Vlastimil Válekexplains the reasons for the creation of the new body.

The Institute meets on a weekly basis, always on Thursdays.  It works closely with the Central Management Team, which is led by General Václav Vlček and Colonel Petr Šnajdárek and includes the head of the NIZP Roman Chlíbek, the director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics, the deputy ministers of health, the Director of the State Health Institute and other representatives of the Ministry of Health.

The Central Management Team is responsible for analyzing the impact, benefits and feasibility of the recommendations made by experts and representatives of Czech science on everyday life. The proposed measures will subsequently be forwarded to other designated ministries concerned with pandemic issues for evaluation.  The approved measures for managing the pandemic will be presented every Wednesday after the Czech Government meeting.  

“The Central Management Team is headed by Colonel Petr Šnajdárek together with General Václav Vlček. He has been dealing with the pandemic from the very beginning and is doing an excellent job.  The team under their leadership ensures the functioning of the entire system, such as testing centers, laboratories and vaccination centers, and regional health stations. The main goal of the CŘT is to make sure that everything works like a well-oiled machine,” said Health Minister Vlastimil Válek.