At the beginning of summer, most people believed that coronavirus would soon disappear for good. That didn’t happen though. Shortly after the original countermeasures were released, the number of new cases started increasing again and the negative trend continues. During the last few weeks the number of new cases was increasing rapidly though some changes have not yet taken effect.
Schools Reopening Still Hasn’t Manifested Itself
The number of new cases was already growing in summer, but many experts are worried that the epidemiologic situation will get worse. The first thing that will inevitably complicate things is the flu, as it was already mentioned in our previous articles. The other thing that many epidemiologists are currently talking about, is schools being open again. They predict that since (according to numerous studies) children tend to be more infectious than adults while being mostly asymptomatic, the number of infected people will grow. Schools opened on September 1 and now there are already some schools that had to be closed and a few quarantined classes. The epidemiologists are, however, convinced that we are yet to experience the full impact of schools reopening.
Another thing that may contribute to another significant increase in new cases, is the weather – according to biologist Jaroslav Flégr people will be more at risk of getting infected because of the lack of the D vitamin caused by lack of sunlight. The virus will, according to him, also benefit from higher humidity levels common for autumn. Flégr actually believes that the number of the infected will go to 2,000 people per day and that stricter countermeasures will have to be reintroduced.
But Flégr is not the only expert convinced that the Czech Republic will experience another big spike in new cases in the near future. Epidemiologist Roman Chlíbek has already correctly predicted that we’ll see daily increases of over 1,000 new infected people each day and just like Flégr he believes the government should put more countermeasures in place. The Czech Republic saw the first increase of over 1,000 new cases on Wednesday, September 9 and epidemiologist Roman Prymula is worried that the number has the potential to grow exponentially. At the moment, there are only four European countries where the epidemic situation is worse than in the Czech Republic (those are Montenegro, Spain, Moldova, and Ukraine).
Immunologist Roman Hořejší’s warnings are even more specific – he predicts the Czech Republic will also see more serious cases of the COVID-19 and about 500-1,000 people will die until the end of this year. On the other hand, he also believes that by the time a COVID-19 vaccine would be already available. It should be, however, mentioned that the vaccine would be first available only for elderly, people with chronic diseases, hospital paramedics, social services staff and their clients/patients. In the second stage, members of the government, crisis staff or the integrated rescue system would follow. All of these groups of people would have the vaccine for free. Everyone else would have to wait for their turn and pay for the vaccine.
The Czech Republic is currently experiencing also spikes in people hospitalized with the coronavirus, though hospitals’ capacities are still sufficient for now. However, the St. Anne’s Hospital in Brno has recently imposed a ban on visits.
Plans for This Autumn?
According to Roman Prymula, up to 10 percent of the whole Czech population may end up quarantined in autumn, which would pose a serious problem for the Czech economy. Some people are therefore convinced that the current way of the epidemic being handled needs to change. For example a former Minister of Health and the director of the Motol hospital, Miloslav Ludvík, suggests that the quarantine should be further reduced to only seven days and teachers would continue teaching even when quarantined – only they’d be wearing FFP2 respirators and wouldn’t give oral exams to their students.
Another possible change is regarding the way of tracing infected people and their contacts. Recently, the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced that hygiene stations are considering tracing only serious cases of COVID-19 since they are overburdened. This statement was noticed by the Czech branch of WHO (the World Health Organization) that immediately criticized the decision. While the Prime Minister’s first response was rather negative, eventually he came up with an idea for a project that would help disburden the hygienic stations. According to these plans infected people themselves will trace the people they have been in contact with while hygienists would only trace the contacts of people with serious symptoms of the COVID-19. The Prime Minister released this information on the same day he admitted that the Czech Republic has to brace itself for a very difficult autumn. It was also the same day when wearing face masks in all indoor spaces was reintroduced.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?
There are several things that can help you reduce the risk of getting infected with the virus. For example, the Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch recommends that people follow the “3Rs” rule “roušky, ruce, rozestupy” (that is, wearing face masks, washing hands and social distancing).
Pharmacists and doctors also advise people to use vitamin D, betaglucans, zinc and selenium which can help build the immune system. People should always discuss the daily dose with their doctor or pharmacist, though.
Another thing that may cause severe problems is inflammation. If one suffers from any kind of inflammation, the risk of experiencing serious symptoms of COVID-19 increases. Therefore, if you know you might be having health problems of this kind, don’t hesitate to visit the doctor.
Let us know and get your residence permit as soon as possible to be safe in the future in case the pandemic indeed returns in full force. Having a residence permit is the best way of making sure you’ll be able to return to the Czech Republic even if the borders are closed again.
Source of the information: zivotvcesku.cz, SeznamZprávy.cz, magazinplus.cz, aazdravi.cz, Aktuálně.cz article I and article II, Deník.cz, Echo24, Novinky.cz article I, article II, article III and article IV
Source of the photo: Pexels.com