Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech government has approved a plan to prolong the state of emergency by one month until December 3, Prime Minister Andrej Babis told reporters on Tuesday.
Czech Republic to extend COVID-19 state of emergency by one month
First declared on October 5 for a period of 30 days to allow authorities to take extraordinary measures in the fight against COVID-19, the state of emergency was initially due to expire on November 3, next week.
The Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament will now examine, and likely approve, the measure on Friday morning. According to Babis, extending the state of emergency is necessary to keep the current anti-coronavirus restrictions in place and contain the outbreak.
On the same day, Health Minister Roman Prymula said that schools will not reopen next week, despite earlier claims primary schools could start functioning again at the beginning of November. All schools in the Czech Republic except for kindergartens have been closed for the past two weeks.
The Czech Republic, where a partial lockdown was introduced last week and night curfew came into force today, is currently one of the most severely affected countries in Europe and in the world by the pandemic.
New Health Minister appointed this week
The Czech government also appointed this week a new Health Minister. Jan Blatny, deputy-director of the Faculty Hospital in Brno, is set to succeed Roman Prymula and could officially take office on Thursday after his nomination is approved by President Milos Zeman, presidential spokesman Jiri Ovcacek announced yesterday.
A pediatrician and hematologist, Jan Blatny would be the third Czech Health Minister this year. Predecessor Roman Prymula has been forced out after a controversial visit to a Prague restaurant last week despite the current COVID-19 restrictions put in place by his own ministry.