Dušek: Up to 100,000 people can be infected every day

Jan Handrejch

According to Ladislav Dušek, director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (IHIS), two to three times more people may be newly infected every day than tests show. As of Tuesday, 28,469 had tested positive.

“There will be two to three times more newly infected people in the population. So there will be maybe 70,000 people in the population. Apparently, there is a wave going on in this country that is bringing in 100,000 newly infected a day, and we will probably see about 40,000 newly infected a day in the next few days because of testing, ” Dušek told a meeting of the House Health Committee on Wednesday.

As of Tuesday, more than 101,000 PCR and 27,000 antigen tests were conducted. Of that total, nearly 28.5 thousand more were infected, the most since the outbreak began the previous March. The spread of the more infectious omicron variant is behind the increases in the numbers of newly infected and reinfected.

Experts believe that the current testing capacity will not catch more than 50,000 infections in one day. Yet, various models suggest that there may be as many as 200 000 infections at the peak of the omicron epidemic.

Laboratory capacity should also be prepared for the expected increase in infections. According to Ondrej Jakob, spokesman for the Ministry of Health, the ability for PCR sampling is 160,000 per day and can be further increased if necessary.

“This capacity is continuously increased directly by the sampling points, and after coordination with regional coordinators, so the whole system is checked daily, and we can further increase it in case of actual need,” the spokesman said.