The epidemic in the Czech Republic is impacted by the spread of novel coronavirus variants; effects of newly adopted measures becoming evident

The Covid-19 epidemic in the Czech Republic is still at a very risky point, as its growth continues.  In February, it accelerated despite the persistence of measures aimed at reducing the number of personal contacts.  The rise and rapid spread of novel coronavirus variants have played a major role in the worsened situation; nevertheless, the good news is that the development of the burdened population has ceased escalating and is stabilising, albeit at large values.

As a result, the reproduction number is gradually dropping, currently noted at 1.05.  The newly adopted measures will start to make themselves felt more intensively within the next 7 to 10 days, and hence, there is a great likelihood that the epidemic will start slowing at a relatively high pace. 

The high daily numbers of newly identified cases are risky, primarily because they are attended by a high number of newly infected potentially vulnerable patients.  Presently, more than 2,000 patients are identified every day in the 65+ age group, up to 35% of whom face a risk of a serious course of the disease with a risk of hospitalisation.

Furthermore, we have also noted a high relative positivity of tests from diagnostic and clinical indication that have the greatest informative value and indicate a growing prevalent viral load in the population.  The relative positivity of the tests now oscillates at around 40%.  Nevertheless, it is not escalating higher.  The incipient stagnation in the development of the indicator that has been evident in recent days is the first signal of the slowing of the rate of spread of the infection in the population.

Relative positivity of tests by indication on 3 March 7-day average
Diagnostic or clinical indication 39.5% 38.1%
Epidemiological indication 21.2% 20.9%
Preventive and general testing 1.8% 1.7%

The aggregate number of hospitalised patients fluctuates around the top value of the week, with the current number being approximately 8,200 hospitalised persons.  We still record very high numbers of new admissions – the figure reported on 4 March is +600.  Increases in the number of hospitalised patients are evident not only in Bohemian regions, but newly also in Moravian regions, particularly in the South-Moravian Region and in the Olomouc Region.

A very high burden is reported in terms of intensive care beds, and this burden continues to grow at a risky rate.  There are currently 1,610 patients registered in ICUs.  Highly intensive care is also used by very high numbers of patients:799 x artificial respiration and 18 x ECMO.