Risk index in anti-epidemic system at 81, Karlovy Vary Region worst-hit

According to the Czech anti-epidemic system, the summarised risk index for the Czech Republic is at 81. This value corresponds to the fifth alert level. This is why the Czech Government discussed moving to precisely this level. Other than the risk score, the intensive care situation in hospitals was also an important factor in this decision.

Classification into the respective levels is 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 81. This corresponds to the fifth alert level. The most favourable score is in Prague, which is at 66. On the contrary, the value of the index in the Karlovy Vary Region is 86.

“The summarised risk index in the anti-epidemic system is still at a value corresponding to the fifth alert level. This is why we were forced to move the country to this level when discussing the issue at the government meeting. Apart from the index itself, it is also very important to carefully monitor the situation in the hospitals, in particular in the field of intensive care,” says Health Minister
Jan Blatný.

In relation to the rising number of cases, there has also been an increase in the number of tests performed relating to indications for testing. At present, about 30,000 tests are being performed every day. The average test positivity rate is around 25%.

“The numbers of new cases of the covid-19 disease correlate to the number of tests performed. Tracing also helps to ensure that the situation does not escalate. The majority of cases are dealt with within 24 hours,” says Jarmila Rážová, Chief Public Health Officer of the Czech Republic.

The score is evaluated in colour for the entire country and individual regions, 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, for example, the wearing of masks, assembly, shops, culture and education, as well as their easing.

The anti-epidemic system (PES) was developed 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).

“All of the epidemic indicators in the population which are monitored show a week-on-week growth. The spread of the virus exhibits the characteristics of community spread and is increasing with a reproduction number of 1.25. Unfortunately, higher numbers of newly infected people in vulnerable groups represent a persisting risk for future hospitalisation,” says the Director of the Institute for Health Information and Statistics, Ladislav Dušek.

The situation at hospitals remains stable in terms of the availability of care for COVID-19 patients. The current development in the number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalisation has obliged some regions to continue limiting non-urgent care, which has practically ceased in some regions. The system is being kept in standby mode, so as to be able to adapt capacities to potential sudden spikes in patient numbers within a few days. The National Dispatching Centre for Inpatient Care is still operating, allowing for the flexible transportation and placement of patients outside the given region if necessary. 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.