Czech Republic News Politics & International

Czech President Milos Zeman to address nation on coronavirus crisis

Prague, Czech Republic – Czech President Milos Zeman should address the nation regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic later this week, his spokesman Jiri Ovcacek announced on Twitter.

More details regarding the speech should be released by the Prague Castle later during the day, according to the president’s press office.

The announcement comes as anger and frustration had been slowly growing over the head of state’s continued silence and absence from the public eye amid the deepening public health crisis.

Milos Zeman has not appeared in public nor directly commented on the topic since the start of the coronavirus crisis, fueling a number of rumours regarding the Czech President, whose own personal health has been a topic of speculation long before the start of the unprecedented epidemic.

President Zeman only expressed support to the measures introduced by the government of Prime Minister Andrej Babis as part of the state of national emergency declared earlier this month. He also urged citizens to stick together and help each other out in a spirit of “unconditional solidarity” through a statement released by spokesman Jiri Ovcacek last week.

“This is no time for selfishness”, the statement read.

The number of confirmed coronavirus infection cases reached 464 on Wednesday morning, the highest among Visegrad Group countries.

Three patients are said to be in critical condition, but none of those who have tested positive for the virus have died at the time of writing. Meanwhile, three patients are said to have recovered from the disease.

As part of the 30-day state of emergency declared in the Czech Republic, citizens have been barred from visiting over a dozen countries considered at “high-risk”, while all nationals from these countries have reciprocally been banned from entering Czech territory.

Nearly all public gathering of at least 30 people have been banned, and restaurants, bars and pubs have to close their doors at 8 pm.

Main photo credit: ČTK

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.