The risk score according to anti-epidemic system is 64, the epidemiological situation is worsening

According to the Czech anti-epidemic system, the summarized risk index for the Czech Republic is at 64. This value corresponds to the fourth alert level, which indicates a worsening of the epidemiological situation in connection with the COVID-19 disease. Although the score is not the only important parameter for decision-making, a transition to level 4 is very likely.

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 64. This is a level which corresponds to alert level four. The most favourable score is in Prague, which is at 49. On the contrary, the score in the Zlín and Liberec regions is 76.

“The epidemiological situation in the Czech Republic has worsened gradually since last week. Therefore, I once again remind everybody of the option of undergoing free blanket testing, which will start on Friday, 18 December,” said Minister for 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 terms of timing, it is impossible for the worsening epidemiological situation to be entirely the result of the easing of measures associated with the transition to the third alert level last week. Rather, the deterioration was caused by the fact that the valid measures were not adequately observed by everybody even before this change. Even today, people often gather at bars and shopping centers or on public transit. The more people get together on a small area, the greater the risk of the transmission of droplets and thereby the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” says the Chief Hygienist of the Czech Republic Jarmila Rážová.

The Anti-Epidemic System 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 (only in the Czech language).

“In the past week we have seen a worsening of the epidemiological situation, which is being reflected in most of the monitored epidemiological indicators. The number of newly diagnosed patients is rising and the number of newly diagnosed cases in vulnerable population groups has also increased – daily to a value of about 1000 and higher. During the week, the reproduction number also grew, and now ranges between 1.1 and 1.2. The main reason is the increased number of longer contacts between people and the increased mobility of the population,” says the Director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics Ladislav Dušek.

Given the current epidemiological situation, the Czech Government had to limit the opening hours of catering services. The Chamber of Deputies and Czech Government also approved the extension of the state of emergency until 23 December.

Although the situation regarding patients with COVID-19 who require hospitalisation has improved slightly in recent days, we have kept the hospital system in standby mode. If necessary, the hospitals are capable of again adapting to the situation, if the number of patients with COVID-19 were to increase. The National Inpatient Care Dispatching is also on alert.

However, the Czech Republic is fast approaching the moment when it will have a vaccine against COVID-19. The first deliveries are expected early next year. In connection to this situation, the Government approved the National Strategy for Vaccination against COVID-19 on Monday, 7 December. “The National Vaccination Strategy presents a schedule according to which vaccination will be conducted next year. As soon as the vaccine against COVID-19 disease is registered for use in Europe and becomes available to Czech patients, this strategy will be implemented into practice and used to organise vaccination,” the vaccination strategy coordinator Zdeněk Blahuta explained.

The vaccination strategy was professionally designed by the Czech Vaccination Society of the Czech Medical Society of Jan Evangelist Purkyně, negotiated by the Covid II Clinical Group of the Ministry of Health and approved by the National Immunization Commission of the Czech Republic.

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.