Lockdown won’t pass us by; troubles will come, says Flegr. When will it happen?

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in the Czech Republic rose to 599 on Tuesday. That’s the most in four months. Although the reproductive number, which shows how many more people one sick person infects, has dropped slightly, evolutionary biologist Jaroslav Flegr is once again talking about a lockdown. And he even mentions a specific date.

Although the number of infected people gradually increases, the Institute of Health Information and Statistics (IHIS) keeps a low profile. The figures are still optimistic. “We now have approximately 29 newly infected per 100,000 inhabitants per week, but mainly there is a positive trend in infections in potentially vulnerable patients and citizens,” said Ladislav Dušek, director of the IHIS. 

Not even the health minister sees it on lockdown yet. “I don’t think we are talking about a lockdown as such. We are talking about some regime measures. Stricter regime measures, for example, in the context of mass events. There may be a broader obligation to protect the respiratory tract in more areas, for instance, at work, ” Health Minister Adam Vojtěch (ANO) commented on the situation.

However, biologist Jaroslav Flegr is far more skeptical. In his opinion, the colder weather will drive people indoors, where the disease spreads faster. “This time, the big trouble will come in December. The government will take measures. Whatever government is in power, lockdowns will be implemented, “Flegr said, adding that these “troubles” can be avoided.

“All we have to do now is to test every employee and every student with a PCR test once every 14 days. It would work, and indeed there wouldn’t even be an epidemic in the winter, ” he said, describing an option that he said would prevent the spread of the disease. That way, he said, we could even take off the respirators. However, Minister Vojtěch claims they are an essential anti-epidemic measure and wants to keep it in the coming months.