The government will not declare a state of emergency for the time being due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus. The outgoing Prime Minister, Andrej Babiš (ANO) confirmed this. Health Minister Adam Vojtěch (ANO) sought to declare a state of emergency, while Interior Minister Jan Hamáček of the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) considers it a premature option.
After the meeting, he clarified that the government did not even discuss the declaration of a state of emergency. “We will ask the regional governors for a clear opinion on whether they require the declaration of a state of emergency,” Babišexplained, adding that the governing council for health risks will meet with the heads of the regions on Tuesday morning.
“If we have this request from the governors, the government will immediately meet, discuss the proposal, and possibly declare a state of emergency,” he outlined the following procedure.
Minister Vojtěch said this morning that he would propose to the government to declare a state of emergency. According to the ministry and chief hygienist Pavla Svrčinová, this would help, especially in overloaded hospitals, where more and more people are hospitalized with COVID.
Medical students could help out there in an emergency.
Emergency? It’s not in place yet.
Several politicians opposed the state of emergency during the day, including the head of the crisis staff, Hamáček. “On behalf of the interior ministry, we see no reason to declare a state of emergency at this stage without holding meetings of the crisis staff in the regions and for these staff to consider whether this situation cannot be resolved by declaring a state of emergency, ” he said.
The head of the Education Ministry, Robert Plaga (ANO), was also critical of the emergency declaration. “A state of emergency because vaccinated medical students have to do menial jobs in hospitals instead of studying? I hope the chief hygienist and the Ministry of Health are not serious, ” the minister tweeted.
And some MPs were also against it. “The introduction of the state of emergency is not sufficiently justified by the government, which is why it does not have our support at the moment,” STAN head Vít Rakušan said.
“We do not support the declaration of a state of emergency because the government has abused it in the past for blanket measures and lockdowns,” wrote SPD head Tomio Okamura.
Minister Vojtěch also said on Monday, after a cabinet meeting, that the cabinet is already debating compulsory vaccination. This could apply to healthcare workers but also to some state employees, such as firefighters.
“We would like to have the debate on compulsory vaccination completed by the end of this week. I should inform the government about it next week, ” Minister Vojtěch said.
An inter-ministerial group will be set up to deal with this,” Prime Minister Babiš said.