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Czech Republic confirms new Covid-19 outbreak at coal mine

Prague, Czech Republic – A new Covid-19 outbreak has been confirmed at a coal mine in the Czech Republic’s Moravian Silesian region, right across the border with Poland.

On Tuesday, health authorities confirmed that a new coronavirus infection cluster had formed at the Darkov black-coal mine in Karvina, with at least 82 employees, both Czech and Polish, and six family relatives testing positive for Covid-19 so far.

The regional public health agency (KHS) in Ostrava and OKD, the Czech company which operates the coal mine, announced that widespread testing was underway to determine the exact scope of the Covid-19 outbreak and contain it as quickly as possible.

“In view of the high number of positive results, the KHS and OKD managements will meet to debate further preventive measures in order to eliminate the rise in the Covid-19 infections”, KHS head Pavla Svrcinova said.

The outbreak was first reported on Friday, when 11 new cases of infection were discovered. The numbers continued to rise over the week-end, but none of the infected patients are said to be in a serious conditions.

Since the beginning of May, the Czech Republic had reported less than 100 new daily cases of Covid-19 infection. As a result of the outbreak in the Karvina coal mine, Monday saw its biggest increase this month, with 111 new coronavirus cases.

Recent outbreaks in coal mines right across the border in Poland were also responsible for a record spike in new Covid-19 cases.

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.