The anti-epidemic value is at 76, the Czech Republic moves to the fourth alert level

According to the Czech anti-epidemic system, the summarized risk index for the Czech Republic is at 76. The value corresponds to the fifth alert level. During Monday’s session, the Czech Government approved the transition to the fourth PES alert level. The reason is the worsening epidemic situation, which is also reflected in the daily increase of positively diagnosed patients. If the situation does not improve, the Ministry of Health will consider moving to the fifth alert level.

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 76. This corresponds to the fifth alert level. The most favourable score is still in Prague, which is at 59. On the contrary, the value of the index in the Moravian-Silesian region is 81.

“The number of newly-diagnosed patients is rising gradually. Therefore, we had to react to the unfavorably developing epidemic situation and switch to the fourth alert level of the anti-epidemic system. However, the important thing is that there has not yet been a progressive increase in hospitalised patients, especially those in critical condition,” said Minister of Health Jan Blatný.

In connection to the rising number of cases, there has been a rising number of performed tests related to indications for testing. At present, about 30,000 tests per day are being performed. The average test positivity is over 20%.

“But if the risk score were to remain at the value corresponding to level five, we in the expert group must address the issue of whether to propose a shift to this level to the Czech Government,” added the Minister of Health Jan Blatný.

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 e.g. the wearing of masks, assembly, shops, culture and education, as well as their easing.

“In connection to the current epidemic situation, we launched blanket antigen testing on Wednesday, which is free for everybody. The good news is that there is high interest in testing. For instance, if you are planning to visit your relative, be sure to take advantage of antigen testing. This will protect you and your loved ones, and you can contribute to eliminating the spread of COVID-19 in the population,” 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.

“Although it is not the sole indicator of the current situation, the link between the rising reproduction number and worsening epidemic situation is obvious. Its approximate value now is 1.2. The 14-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants is also rising, and a warning signal is the percentage of infections among seniors. In some regions, pressure on hospital care is already being felt,” noted the Director of the Institute for Health Information and Statistics Ladislav Dušek. 

Given the current epidemic situation, the Czech government approved moving the Czech Republic to the fourth alert level at Monday’s session. The shift involves, for example, a night-time curfew, closing of catering facilities, pools and wellness centres, and heightened hygienic measures at stores, which will remain open.

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 maintained in standby mode, so as to be able to adapt capacities to potential sudden spikes in patient numbers within a few days. The National Inpatient Care Dispatching is still in operation, which enables the operative transport and placement of patients outside the given region if needed,” said Deputy Health Minister, Chairman of the Czech Society for Anesthesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Medicine and Head of the COVID Clinical Group, Vladimír Černý.

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.