The epidemiological situation will newly be depicted by the PES evaluation system
The Ministry of Health will map the current epidemiological situation using the anti-epidemic system (PES in Czech) risk score. The regions will be assigned to five levels, on which the respective anti-epidemic measures will depend. The new evaluation system offers better legibility and predictability of epidemiological developments.
The regions will be assigned to the respective levels 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 seniors.
The current epidemiological situation, including development in the near future, will be depicted using a score on a scale of 0 to 100. The score will be evaluated in colour for the entire region, but the value can also be calculated for small administrative units. Depending on the score, the regions will be assigned to five alert levels, which will be linked to the respective anti-epidemic measures concerning e.g. masks, assembly, stores, culture and education.
“Epidemiological indicators and data from the past two weeks indicate that the Czech Republic is likely beyond the climax of the epidemic. Therefore, we have decided it would be advisable for 1st and 2nd grade pupils to return to school on 18 November. However, it would be a mistake to think the epidemic is over in the Czech Republic. On the contrary, we expect the number of newly diagnosed patients to remain fairly high,” said Minister for Health Jan Blatný with respect to the current situation.
The new score, developed in cooperation between the Ministry of Health, Institute of Health and Information Statistics and university experts, will be calculated and implemented into the online system of the Institute of Health and Information Statistics.
“The main goal of the new PES evaluation is to improve the legibility and predictability of the current epidemiological situation. We want the public to get an idea of the situation in their region and whether they should prepare for the easing or tightening of the implemented measures. The score will include only those parameters which each citizen can evaluate and calculate using available data,” Minister for Health Jan Blatný explained, describing the new system.
Given the current epidemiological situation, certain blanket measures imposed by the Czech Government are in place. These include, for example, a night-time curfew, the mandatory wearing of masks and the imposition of home office, if permitted by the nature of the job.
“If we want not only to maintain the current numbers of newly diagnosed positive cases, but above all reduce them, it is crucial to observe the current measures. Worth mentioning is the 3W rule – thoroughly washing and disinfecting your hands, wearing a mask and watching your distances. Observing these rules is even more important when in contact with seniors and persons who are ill,” stated Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic Jarmila Rážová.
More good news is the reduction of the reproduction number R, which indicates the number of people infected on average by one positive patient: “The reproduction number has been brought down to 0.8. If we continue to observe the valid measures, it is very likely and foreseeable that this value could be reduced even further,” explained Ladislav Dušek, Director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics, with regard to the conditions for maintaining favourable development.
The current measures, number of positively diagnosed patients and other information related to the COVID-19 epidemic can be monitored on the Ministry of Health website concerning the coronavirus at koronavirus.mzcr.cz or at the government portal covid.gov.cz.