Válek: The numbers indicate that the Czech Republic will have to close for Christmas

Vít Šimánek, ČTK

Radiologist and main candidate for Health Minister, Vlastimil Válek (TOP 09), warns that the current rising numbers of people infected with covid-19 suggest that services, shops, and the social life of citizens will be limited again at Christmas. 

“I don’t want to miss another Christmas, another Easter, but now we are heading in this direction. It’s impossible to avoid this if we have fifteen or twenty thousand positives per day by the end of November. If we have, as Ladislav Dušek, director of the Institute of Health Information and Statistics, says in a pessimistic scenario, half of the numbers from the worst months of last year in hospitals and intensive care units, then there is a real risk that shops and everything will be closed for Christmas again, “Válek said.

On Monday, 7,591 new cases were added, the most since the end of March and some 3,300 more than on the same day last week. Hospital admissions are also rising, with more than 1,800 people in hospital on Monday, with 256 requiring highly specialized care. Dušek warned that the numbers will continue to rise for several more weeks. Following these developments, Válek said hospital care could be cut back in the second half of November. “By the end of November, most hospitals will have major problems. He predicted that a few people could die of colorectal or other various tumors because the intensive care units would be closed to them while chronical illnesses would also rise.

People traditionally gather with their families and loved ones during the Christmas holidays, so there may be further spread and introduction of covid-19 into families. “Christmas, when people visit each other, is a breeding ground for an increase in infections. The system needs to be prepared for an increase in the number of positives after Christmas, “he commented.

In a previous interview  in late October, Válek made similar estimations. He suggested that the Czech Republic is currently at the point where local lockdowns could be introduced, starting from the second half of November. He then went on to say that some form of closure would not be avoided in the Moravian-Silesian region, which is one of the busiest in terms of the number of hospitalized and infected people.