The Ministry of Health has published a map of alert levels, all the districts in CZ are currently without the risk of community transmission

The Ministry of Health has published a map of alert levels. The alert levels are based on the current epidemiological situation. The districts in the Czech Republic are largely white, meaning there is a negligible risk, and nine are green with no risk of community transmission. The alert levels will be published weekly for the individual districts of the Czech Republic.

A system that marks the individual districts according to the degree of COVID-19 contagion has been launched in the Czech Republic. The system is divided into four alert levels – white, green, yellow and red, known as the traffic light. White means zero or negligible risk, green indicates the incidence of contagion without community transmission in CZ, yellow indicates incipient community transmission and red means rising or lasting community transmission in CZ.

After the 31st week (24 July – 31 July 2020), most districts are white with a zero risk of contagion. There are 9 districts that are green, indicating the risk of contagion without community transmission in CZ, those being Karviná, Frýdek-Místek, Prague, Prachatice, Jihlava, Prague-West, Prague-East, Ostrava-City and Brno-City. Currently, the highest number of persons with COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants is in Karviná (217 per 100,000) and the lowest is in Brno-City (44 per 100,000). The highest number of newly diagnosed cases in the past 7 days per 100,000 inhabitants is in the Prachatice district (78 per 100,000) and the lowest is in Ostrava-City (14 per 100,000).

“At zero level the risk is minimal, whereas the first level indicates a sporadic incidence of contagion. Community transmission is not underway according to current data. The third or fourth levels have not been stipulated in any Czech district. The epidemiological situation is also calming down in the Moravian-Silesian region. All week, this region has not surpassed 20% of the total number of newly-diagnosed cases in the Czech Republic. Tracking results indicate a declining risk of uncontrolled community transmission. Frýdek-Místek is the only district where we have registered the spread of the disease with the detection of 10 to 20 cases per day. We are monitoring the situation in all the districts and evaluating it on a daily basis,” said the Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic Jarmila Rážová, who emphasised that the alert levels are published primarily as information for citizens, as a system of early warning about the changing epidemiological situation. Twenty-five parameters, which are the result of the weekly summary of daily monitoring, are evaluated. The final decision about the alert level for the given area is the outcome of specialised expertise by epidemiologists and hygienists. Assessment of the risk of community transmission, meaning the risk of the uncontrolled spread through the population during which the respective regional public health authority cannot determine a substantial share of the detected contagions, plays a considerable role in this expertise.

“The data for including the districts into individual risk groups will be evaluated every Friday. The map according to the traffic light system indicates the weekly situation. It is not an online map on which citizens would be able to see the measures valid at the given moment. The traffic light system indicates the situation in the regions and the steps they might be able to expect. The current traffic light system will be published at weekly intervals, always at noon on Monday,” added the Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic Jarmila Rážová.

The capital city of Prague has been wavering on the brink of the risk of community transfer for some time, whereas 18% of the detected cases do not have a definite source. “The situation in Prague is under control and certain improvements have been observed. Because the risk trends are not escalating and there is no apparent rise in the risk for vulnerable population groups, alert level one was issued for Prague and it has been assigned the green colour,” said Zdeňka Jágrová, Director of the Prague Public Health Authority. The issuing of this alert level is an expert decision of the Prague Public Health Authority and the division of the Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic at the MoH.

The current epidemiological situation in the Czech Republic was evaluated by the head of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics Ladislav Dušek: “At present, we are detecting local focal points of contagion which largely consist of patients with mild forms of the disease. Concentrated testing in localities with a higher incidence of contagion increase the probability of detecting those infected. There are few serious cases and the pressure on highly intensive care is almost negligible. Therefore, we can consider the current situation to be good and manageable”

As for the development of the number of people hospitalised with COVID-19 in the Czech Republic at present, the data for July indicates the caseload at ARD/ICU at 19%. The number of positive cases in July was 4597, of which 253 people were hospitalised. The total number of people hospitalised in the entire period is 1749 patients, of which 74% have recovered. There are 123 patients in hospital, of which 16.3% are in serious condition.

 “The number of positive patients in the Czech Republic does not constitute a reason to consider the disease more serious than any other infectious disease that can have serious or fatal progress. The healthcare system has sufficient backup capacities, which would be activated as soon as the impending risk of insufficient capacity arises. At present, there are 1203 beds available in ARD/ICU wards,” said Vladimír Černý, Chairman of the Czech Society of Anesthesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Care, Head of the Clinical Group at the Czech MoH.