The epidemic situation in the capital has worsened in the last five days. During that time, the risk index of the anti-epidemic system (PES) rose by seventeen points to 68, which Prague – after a long time – ranked up to the imaginary second place behind the South Bohemian region.
“The rising value of the PES risk index throughout the country is due to the recent loosening of measures and the government’s inability to reintroduce them,” Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) told Seznam Zprávy. “The problem is the reluctance of some citizens to continue to tolerate restrictions. This is due to the fact that politicians do not lead by example and help to entrepreneurs is insufficient in our country, for example, unlike in Germany. “
Slowing down the spread of coronavirus will now be difficult, the mayor of Prague admits. According to him, further steps must be taken by the Ministry of Health.
“We are still closely monitoring the situation in Prague and we approach it with all due respect. For example, we perform regular disinfection of public transport vehicles, we invest in information campaigns, we expand the list of covid.praha.eu test sites, most recently, for example, antigen tests, ”says Hřib.
According to Hřib, Prague will also have to deal with significant budget shortfalls.
“To support entrepreneurs, we have created our own rescue program COVID Prague within our own capabilities. However, further help for entrepreneurs must already be provided by the government, which issues restrictions. Unfortunately, after the approval of the tax package, there is no significant reduction in Prague’s budget revenues, “added Hřib.
Comparing Prague with other regions is difficult, the capital has a significantly higher population density than the rest of the republic.
“Likewise, the great mobility of people, because the border with the Central Bohemian Region is only administrative,” the mayor recalls.
With antigenic tests among the worst
It is similarly difficult to trace the reason why the risk index is growing.
“Since Friday, we have no information that the situation is deteriorating, for example, in homes for the elderly,” said Markéta Štalmachová, director of the security department, when asked by the editors.
“It is an alarming signal for us in this regard if the homes are asking for help from Red Cross or army volunteers. We have already experienced this in Prague, but it has not happened in recent weeks, we are now managing our own efforts everywhere, “describes Štalmachová.
According to her, the people of Prague showed great interest in antigen tests. These are free from Friday for those who secure a place in the reservation system.
This is not enough to explain the minimum risk index, as antigenic tests do not count towards it. Only a positive antigen test in people who do not have symptoms of covid-19 is subsequently confirmed by a PCR test.
Due to the limited number of proven antigenic tests, the Ministry of Health is preparing to change the methodology for calculating the risk index. The Ministry concerns the procedure of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Even with the inclusion of antigenic tests, however, Prague would not return to the position of a premium in combating covid-19. On the contrary, the capital would fall to tenth of the fourteen places in the imaginary ranking. But mainly because in the rest of the republic, the data would look much more favorable.
The Minister of Health Jan Blatný (for YES) stated on Friday that the expert group of the ministry will have to decide whether to propose to the government a transfer to the fifth level of the PES. If the antigenic tests are omitted, the values of the worst grade five must be observed and hold for a key third day.
The Minister of the Interior and Chairman of the Central Crisis Staff Jan Hamáček (CSSD) stated in an interview with Seznam Zprávy on Saturday that the Czechia is heading for access to measures, the government was supposed to act on Monday.