Czech Hospital System Under Strain As Hospitalisations Remain High
Given the current situation in hospitals and the spread of the British mutation in the Czech Republic, the health system is at risk of collapse. In response to the persistently high rates of hospitalizations, the government has mandated the wearing of respirators in shops and public transport. Photo Credit: Freepik / Illustrative Photo.
Czech Rep., Feb 23 (BD) – From Thursday, respirators will be required in public spaces and also outdoor spaces where people are closer than two metres. Respirators have been deemed necessary by the Czech government as they are proven to be more effective in protecting against the virus than fabric masks.
The stricter measures have been introduced due to the diminishing capacity in intensive care units and anesthesiology and resuscitation departments (ICU and ARO) across the country. Additionally, cases of the highly contagious British mutation are increasing in the country; while it does not cause a more severe case of coronavirus, the variant spreads up to 40% faster.
“The so-called British variant of the virus is most likely already circulating in the Czech Republic. It seems, and it will be verified in the coming days, that currently about 10% of the samples we examine may contain this variant,” said Minister of Health Jan Blatný (ANO).
“It’s no one’s fault. It is a disaster, like any other,” said Deputy Minister of Health Vladimír Černý, commenting on the current epidemiological situation. According to the Ministry of Health, a record-high 1,329 patients were in hospital in serious condition on Monday. Over 6,500 people are currently hospitalized with coronavirus in the country.
The number of available hospital beds is gradually decreasing. As of February 23rd, only 15% of the 3,968 ARO and ICU beds for adults across the country are unoccupied, 167 of which are reserved for potential covid positive patients. 5,189 standard beds with oxygen (24% of the total) are available, of which 713 are intended for covid positive patients.