Covid summer surge continues to rise

The current Covid-19 “summer wave” in the Czech Republic, which began in early June, continues to gain momentum. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, in the past seven days 14,710 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded, about 4,500 more than the previous week. The highest number of infected people recorded in a single day this week was Tuesday, when testing revealed 3,235 cases, while on other days of the week the numbers remained below the three thousand mark, although each day is still significantly higher than the same day of the previous one. the week.

725 people are hospitalized with covid, almost a third more than at the end of last week and the most since the end of April. The number of patients in serious condition doubled in a week to 29. The highest incidence number, i.e. the number of new cases confirmed in the last seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is in Prague, where it has risen to 227, compared to the nationwide incidence number of 138. The majority of infections are due to the more infectious BA.4 and BA.5 submutations of the omicron variant. Experts expect the summer surge to peak in late July, but numbers could remain high even after that.

Although the number of tests is slowly increasing, fewer people are getting tested than before due to a request form from a doctor or hygiene station required since May for a free covid test. By some estimates, this means the actual number of infected people could be several times higher.

Over the past two weeks, there has been growing interest in vaccination against covid-19. From Monday, people can get vaccinated with the second booster dose. So far, around 6.88 million people have been fully vaccinated against covid in Czechia, of which around 4.26 million people have received a booster dose of the vaccine.

There are no general measures against the spread of the virus in the country, but some hospitals and social institutions have made it compulsory to wear respirators. Health Minister Vlastimil Válek recommends people use nose and mouth protection on public transport, although the government does not want to impose formal restrictions.

Berta D. Wells